Letters to the Editor: Frozen embryos for IVF are people? Not according to Judaism and other faiths

A container with frozen human embryos.
A container with frozen human embryos at a fertility clinic in Fort Myers, Fla., in 2018.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

To the editor: Jackie Calmes’ column on the Republican Party’s inconsistent application of “pro-life” principles was right on point.

Our wonderful 5-year-old granddaughter and her newborn brother were both born utilizing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), a process that can result in unused embryos being discarded. Along with millions of other kids, our grandchildren would not be providing their parents the joy of their lives if not for IVF.

The Alabama Supreme Court’s Feb. 16 ruling that embryos are children is an affront to those of us who are in favor of life.


In Jewish law and custom, and in many other faith communities, life begins not at conception, but when the newly formed person first takes a breath. The Alabama chief justice’s implication that the “wrath of a holy God” will befall those who are unable to utilize all frozen embryos violates the separation of church and state and denies would-be parents the opportunity to bring children to life.

Indeed, the way far-right activists view reproduction, as well as the GOP’s policy positions on child care and youth poverty, reinforces what religious fundamentalists who deny women the right to reproductive freedom seem to believe: Life begins at conception and ends at birth.

Michael Schneider, Truckee, Calif.


To the editor: To continue to protect our children, in line with the recent Alabama court decision, we must also protect the pre-fertilization process.

Men need to be held responsible for the survival of their pre-fertilization sperm. Men who release sperm without creating a child deserve the same punishment as those who choose to kill any unborn child.

Women, when releasing an unfertilized ovum, also destroy a potential child as well. This criminal act is easily detected through menstruation, and therefore it should be no problem to find the women who must be punished for destroying the potential life of an unborn child.


Only by protecting all sperm and all eggs can we been seen as truly protecting all potential life. There is nothing more important than protecting children, and that includes protecting the innocent, pre-fertilized egg and sperm required to bring a child to life.

While this is written in the style of Jonathan Swift’s satire, unfortunately, this is not very far from real life thanks to Alabama’s Supreme Court.

Kathryn Pisaro, Granada Hills


To the editor: Calmes’ column takes to task the Republican-run states that have refused to accept federal money to help alleviate hunger in the summer for children who have to do without school lunches. She also reminds us that many Republican-led states have limited Medicaid programs.

Add to that the Republicans’ unrelenting attacks on Social Security and their apparent lack of concern about the threat to Ukraine’s continued existence, and it makes many of us feel that it is time for a new motto for the Republican Party:


“Life, adored in the womb, then ignored to the tomb.”

David Albert, Santa Clarita