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Published:March 8th, 2006 13:52 EST

Woman Sues Man For Right To Use Frozen Embryos

By R.J. Smith

At times situations on this planet can get weird.  Even the most outrageous of science fiction novelists from a half a century ago could not have imagined the reality we now live in.  Let us consider the case of Miss Natalie Evans.  Five years ago, her beloved boyfriend at-the-time, Howard Johnston, proposed to her beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  Monday she was in a courtroom begging that very same man for the right to use frozen embryos created with his sperm to have her own biological child to raise with a new boyfriend.

You see, in 2001 Miss Evans was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  In an effort to preserve her chances of motherhood she had six embryos created and put in frozen storage using then fiancé Mr. Johnston's seed.  He terminated their relationship shortly thereafter, citing that she was too "possessive".  She is now unable to bear children.

She then acquired a new boyfriend and decided to use the embryos to start a family.  Mr. Johnston, although he stated he was saddened by his former fiancés current situation, refused to give his permission for the embryos that he had a hand in creating to be used for such a purpose.  "I did not want a child of mine growing up not knowing who I was" he was quoted as saying.  Therefore, she took him to court.
The ruling was against Miss Evans on Monday and now her only hope is to appeal to the European Court's Great Chamber.  "He is being very mean.  He's stopping me from becoming a mother," she said after the ruling. 

On the very off-chance that she does win her case there is still only a 60 to 70 percent chance the embryos will survive the thawing process and only a one in five chance after that of her actually getting pregnant.  Beyond that the only hope she would have of becoming a mother would be to have a new embryo (made from another woman's egg and her new boyfriends sperm) implanted in her womb or too just simply adopt.

This one is a tough call either way.  On one hand, you have a woman who is clinging desperately to the one last slim chance she might have to become a biological mother and on the other hand, you have a man who refuses to allow his offspring to grow up in a family that is not his.  
Things were so much easier when all we had to debate in the procreation realm were simple abortions.