Explosive Device Detonates Outside Alabama Attorney General’s Office as State Confronts IVF’s Uncertain Future

The incident comes days after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are legally recognized as "children" — a decision that paused IVF services in the state amid fears of wrongful death suits

<p>Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty</p> Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall

An explosive device was detonated outside Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall's office over the weekend, as the state continues grappling with the state Supreme Court's recent ruling that frozen embryos will now legally be considered children in the state.

“In the early hours of Saturday, February 24, an explosive device was detonated outside of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office building in Montgomery," Marshall said in a release issued on Monday. "Thankfully, no staff or personnel were injured by the explosion."

The statement continued: "The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will be leading the investigation, and we are urging anyone with information to contact them immediately.”

Related: What the Alabama Supreme Court Decision Means for a Florida-Based PEOPLE Staffer with Frozen Embryos (Exclusive)

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said it was first notified about a suspicious package on Monday.

"On Monday, Feb. 26, at approximately 8:19 a.m., Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) received notification of a suspicious package near the intersection of Washington Avenue and South Bainbridge Street in Montgomery," the statement read. "It was determined that the suspicious package was an explosive device that was detonated in the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 24."

The agency confirmed to PEOPLE that no one was injured and that there was no damage to the surrounding property. They added that the investigation remains ongoing.

Related: Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are Children, Jeopardizing IVF Possibilities

<p>Getty</p> The Alabama Supreme Court building


The Alabama Supreme Court building

The incident comes days after the Alabama Supreme Court's ruling on in vitro fertilization, which immediately halted IVF services in the state.

Amid fallout from the decision, AG Marshall's announced that it had "no intention" of prosecuting IVF providers or participating families based on the state court's guidance.

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The high court decision came as a result of a wrongful death lawsuit brought by couples whose frozen embryos were destroyed at a fertility clinic in December 2020 when a patient entered a cryogenic nursery storage unit and removed several embryos.

"The subzero temperatures at which the embryos had been stored freeze-burned the patient's hand, causing the patient to drop the embryos on the floor, killing them," a decision released by the Alabama Supreme Court reads.

In a concurring opinion, Chief Justice Tom Parker quoted the Bible and referenced his religious beliefs. "Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God, who views the destruction of His image as an affront to Himself," he wrote.

Related: President Joe Biden Calls Supreme Court's Decision to Overturn 'Roe v. Wade' 'a Tragic Error'

Critics say the ruling could lead to IVF patients questioning if they can freeze future embryos, or if they can destroy or donate unused embryos. As uncertainty abounds, at least three Alabama clinics have already paused IVF treatments in response to the ruling, NBC News reports — including for patients who had previously scheduled transfers.

Several proposals in the state's House and Senate — sponsored by Democrats and Republicans alike — could serve to restore IVF access in the state, if passed.

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