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Sofia Vergara and the Right to Life for Embryos

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Image: John Shearer/Invision/AP

Is an embryo a “life” or “property” to be fought over in a court of law? The intimate life and legal arguments around actress Sofia Vergara has raised ethical and legal issues relating to the ‘right to life’ of embryos, which her former husband wishes to become children. Ms Vergara does not.

 

The legal arguments around the embryos and the broader issues it raises has created a deal of debate and argument, assisted along by Sofia Vergara’s former husband’s New York Times editorial. Nick Loeb had claimed that his wife had wanted to destroy the embryos, although she now reportedly says she simply wants them left where they are.

Loeb and Vergara’s lawyer, Fred Silberg, said the couple signed an agreement that both had to consent about the future of the embryos.

In his editorial, Loeb wrote: “A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term even if the man objects,” Loeb wrote. “Shouldn’t a man who is willing to take on all parental responsibilities be similarly entitled to bring his embryos to term even if the woman objects?”

Loeb said that the couple agreed to use in vitro fertilization, but the refusal of Vergara – star of ABC’s Modern Family – to have children led to the end of their relationship. Now, he is seeking the power to bring the embryos to term, without Vergara’s consent and contrary to a document they signed that stated that they both had to agree to that happening.

Susan Crockin, an attorney who has focused on reproductive technology law for nearly 30 years, said she was surprised how clearly Loeb’s argument seemed to be driven by the right-to-life argument. In Loeb’s editorial, he writes about a former girlfriend from his 20s having an abortion, his Catholicism and his plans to have children with another partner.

“When we create embryos for the purpose of life, should we not define them as life, rather than as property?” Loeb wrote. “Does one person’s desire to avoid biological parenthood (free of any legal obligations) outweigh another’s religious beliefs in the sanctity of life and desire to be a parent?”
Source: The Guardian
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