Divorced Woman Denied Frozen Embryos from Ex-Husband
According to NY Mag.com, a California judge has ruled that a divorced woman cannot implant frozen embryos created with her ex-husband, who objected to their use. The couple chose to freeze the embryos when Mimi Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer days before their wedding in 2010.
Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo issued an 83-page ruling. The Judge upheld a consent form that was signed by the couple setting forth that full ownership of the embryos would only be transferred to one party if the other died.
Mimi Lee, 46, alleged that she should be able to use the frozen embryos she created with her ex-husband, Stephen Findley, 45, because they were her most viable option for having biological children. She is now healthy enough to carry a child, but she is no longer married. Further, due to the medications and treatments required to treat her cancer, Mimi is most likely infertile.
Mimi’s attorneys argued that her right to procreate was protected by the constitution. The court, however, based its ruling on contract law and found that the consent form signed by the couple was valid and enforceable.
Judge Massullo wrote in her ruling that, “it is a disturbing consequence of modern biological technology that the fate of the nascent life, which the embryos in this case represent, must be determined in a court by reference to cold legal principles.” She went on to say, “However, only an infinitesimally small percentage of the four million frozen embryos currently in storage in the United States are destined to be implanted and brought to life. There must be rules to govern the disposition of the rest.”
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