Alabama court ruled frozen embryos are children. Experts explain potential impacts to IVF treatment.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled last week that frozen embryos created through in vitro fertilization, or IVF, are considered children under state law and are therefore subject to legislation dealing with the wrongful death of a minor if one is destroyed.

"The Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location," the opinion states, including "unborn children who are located outside of a biological uterus at the time they are killed."

The immediate impact of the ruling will be to allow three couples to sue for wrongful death after their frozen embryos were destroyed in an accident at a fertility clinic. 

But this first-of-its-kind court decision could also have broader implications.