Sofia Vergara’s Ex-Fiance Nick Loeb Pens Op-Ed Appealing Their Frozen Embryos Have a Right to Live
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Sofia Vergara’s ex-fiancé Nick Loeb details his desires to have children, save the embryos he and Vergara created together from remaining frozen indefinitely, and explains his obligation to be “pro-parent” in this situation of embryonic custody.
Vergara and Loeb have been embattled in a suit regarding the future of their frozen embryos, which they created together when they were still engaged back in November 2013. They split in May 2014 and Vergara is now engaged to Joe Manganiello.
He writes, “In 2013, Sofía and I agreed to try to use in vitro fertilization and a surrogate to have children. We signed a form stating that any embryos created through the process could be brought to term only with both parties’ consent. The form did not specify — as California law requires — what would happen if we separated. I am asking to have it voided.”
Under their contract, “no unilateral action can be taken with regard to the embryos unless both parties consent,” which means both parties must be in agreement in order to bring them to term, and both parties must be in agreement to destroy the embryos.
While the 42-year-old Modern Family has no intention of destroying their embryos (which her lawyer clarified to the media), she also has no intention for them to be brought to term, rightfully so as agreed upon in their contract.
In his one-sided opinion piece, Loeb questions his rights and the ethics for embryonic custody (in spite of their previously mentioned contract which denies any unilateral action). He does so by comparing a woman’s right “to bring a pregnancy to term even if the man objects,” with “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.”
The 39-year-old businessman then brings up a question many have posed to him, “Why not just move on and have a family of your own?”
Still able to produce children, he explains: “I have every intention of doing so. But that doesn’t mean I should let the two lives I have already created be destroyed or sit in a freezer until the end of time,” for he believes “keeping them frozen forever is tantamount to killing them.”
Loeb explains further,
When we create embryos for the purpose of life, should we not define them as life, rather than as property? 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?…These are issues that, unlike abortion, have nothing to do with the rights over one’s own body, and everything to do with a parent’s right to protect the life of his or her unborn child.
He references 10 similar cases and then details at length the various events in his life (from his childhood, through his twenties, and until now) in order to sympathize his desires to be a parent, writing, “For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of being a parent…”
Furthermore, he intimately explains the trajectory of his and Vergara’s relationship:
…In 2010, I met Sofía. Her career was about to take off, and I didn’t want to pressure her, as I wanted her to fulfill her dreams and reap the rewards of her hard work. But about six months into our relationship, I was in a terrible car accident. My pelvis was fractured in five places. For six months, I couldn’t walk on my own. I saw how life could change in the blink of an eye.
When we got engaged, in 2012, I began to push for children. As I said in my complaint, my fiancée insisted that we use a surrogate. With her eggs and my sperm we created two female embryos. I was so excited once the lives were created that I began to suggest names we could call our girls. The first embryo we implanted didn’t take. The second time, the surrogate miscarried, and I felt crushed.
A year later, we tried again, creating two more embryos, both female. But as we began to discuss other potential surrogates, it became clear once more that parenthood was much less urgent for her than it was for me. We had been together for over four years. As I was coming on 40, I gave her an ultimatum. When she refused, we split up.
As for why keeping their embryos indefinitely frozen is “tantamount to killing them,” he explains: “I take the responsibility and obligation of being a parent very seriously. This is not just about saving lives; it is also about being pro-parent.”
Vergara and Loeb are due back in court on May 22, 2015.