Category: Political Science
A New Contract With America
This review takes the issue of who owns a single or a group of frozen embryo(s) when those that sponsored the action die or separate and can't agree on ownership of the "frozen material". What exactly is it? What rights does it enjoy independently of the source?
The reviewer sees this argument as part of a much larger question: Who or what owns the world or the somewhat larger Universe? This question may well cut to the heart of the argument between collective secular humanism and God connected individualism.
Review of the Tamar Lewin essay about ownership of frozen embryos
by Richard R.Tryon
Finding the true owner(s) of frozen embryos is a question that gets very close to an even more fundamental consideration: Who owns the world? In my humble opinion, one should seemingly be forced to allow that ownership of the world and all therein is equivalent to the larger-scale detail of the world representing only a micro-dot within a Universe; but only two possible answers can be defined:
Either the Creator, as an entity most of us call God, or a mere simple Force power managed to set into action the matter of unknown origin to become organized so as to come forth in an evolving manner.
If you start with the second, and again, in my opinion, a totally specious approach, favored by the secular proponents of a atheist and fellow-traveler generated group; you must conclude that it is logical for individuals to claim authority in one manner or another to control all of life in the global kingdoms of plants and animals! From this perspective, one can only abandon all argument and accept that all human rights are granted by the state or its political-economic leaders.
In this manner, one can readily understand that human embryos or any other form of life are possibly left by the state to be temporarily controlled by state defined partners that created them under the state's marital license system as modified by Federal Agency, Congress or Supreme Court decisions;; or such other authority that assumes or obtains such authority. A simple Presidential Order, in the 2016 U.S. environment is probably sufficient to allow any one or more Federal Agencies to struggle over which one is intended to own the controlling power of dealing with ownership of frozen-embryos during the life of the so-called natural parents, who arranged to get their egg and sperm-oocyte to happen. This obviously also controls the decision power, if the originating couples live sperm and egg were put together and the frozen-embryo stored for future property use or argument in a divorce. Clearly, this property should be defined, by the thinking of this approach, as matter owned by the State as being the ultimate party responsible for the human right-to-life that it has defined.
What if the State can not find an alternative woman willing to have each or perhaps several of such embryos to be implanted, so that she can help the government bring forth such living persons to be raised by whatever additional programs may be required? Should such mother be unable to do so in a proper manner, as defined by lawyers that write and approve the implementing regulations needed, what then?
It is likely that under this approach the original 'owners' of the living sperms and eggs, who activated the approach that caused these embryos will lose their government granted control when they divorce or separate in whatever manner is defined. If the government can't find a surrogate woman to be a mother, then one assumes that it will store the frozen-embryos like surplus eggs, butter, oil, and all other commodities, and 'kick this can' down the road. All must agree that we are now in the age where the secular driven thinkers have managed to create a Constitutional interpretation that part of a sentence in the First Amendment can ignore the second part and determine that anything dealing with any religion must be separate from the State. The above scenario is totally consistent with this view. Agree?
The coming political election in the U.S., if enabled and conducted fairly, may prove to the media and perhaps supporters, that the above thinking regarding control of all life belongs to the State to manage and control in whatever way fits the current political-economic thinking of the needs of the nation.
But, what if the 'Godders' manage to win? What science can help support an alternative notion that says: “Yes, eggs and sperms are living material and not dead, but frozen, organic components of combinations that can, in a proper environment, grow into a living person!” So-called 'human rights' do not begin until the embryo contains an activated soul! It is my contention, supported by my father's thinking in his book “You Can't Escape God” that lies in incomplete fashion at
. It is waiting for evidence of more learning to help support the contention above. It holds that the Creator God has provided far more living material for all of life to reproduce in sufficient abundance as to maintain the Creator's evidence of what we call a biological species. Such excess eggs and sperms are material, I contend, that is of no lasting value to God, unless one sees need to freeze it as embryos for later use, in case ones that are implanted, fail to grow and be born and become breathing babies, infused with the Holy Spirit that defines life also for those in the Creator's political-economic group of voters.
This group senses the responsibility of raising babies as ones that require a significant period of help from the loving parents, as is common in all of nature and especially among those where marital partners are involved. This group opposes the ideas of the first, that the State owns all, but tolerates individuals being helpers, unless defined by regulators as failing to do so properly. In the age of secular-humanism, where consumerism is the most important force needed to assure survival of the elected and re-elected leaders, one can understand how many are wanting to support the status-quo that has come to perform well to keep out of election those not already in office who wish to stay In power!
If this group wants to avoid losing all power over life, it will have to elect a different set of political candidates.
Anti-Abortion Groups Join Battles Over Frozen Embryos
By TAMAR LEWIN JAN. 19, 2016
Take the case of Jalesia McQueen and Justin Gadberry, a divorced Missouri couple in a court fight over the frozen embryos left over after the birth of their twins through in vitro fertilization.
The groups were recruited by Ms. McQueen’s lawyer for help in appealing a ruling that she could not use the embryos without the consent of her former husband. “This is the thing that kills me — having to fight to get my own children,” she said.
Mr. Gadberry wants no more children with her, and his lawyer, Tim Schlesinger, said his client resented the involvement of outside groups.
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“My client views this as a private matter, between him and his former wife,” Mr. Schlesinger said. “They had an acrimonious divorce, and he doesn’t want another child with her. He doesn’t want his other children involved in a media circus. And he doesn’t want pro-life groups meddling in his private affairs.” Mr. Gadberry declined to be interviewed.
Jalesia McQueen is fighting her ex-husband for custody of frozen embryos left over after the birth of their twins through in vitro fertilization.
Kile Brewer for The New York Times
As scientific advances have made frozen embryos common, they have brought new complications to divorces. Most courts have treated embryos as marital property, often favoring the party that plans not to use the embryos, emphasizing a right not to be forced to procreate. Some have applied contract law, decided which half of the couple more deserved the embryos, or required mutual consent.
But anti-abortion groups argue that such cases should be decided according to the best interests of the embryos, the same legal standard used in child-custody disputes. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed last month in the Missouri dispute, they say an embryo’s most fundamental interest is to be born: “No other right is of any avail if a human being is not around to invoke it.”
Thomas Olp, of the Thomas More Society, a conservative public-interest law firm that filed the brief in concert with Missouri Right to Life and other anti-abortion groups, said: “Husbands and wives can divide up their property however they want, but embryos are living beings, so the legal standard has to be what’s in their best interest.”
His firm has also intervened in a much-publicized California case on the frozen embryos the actress Sofía Vergara made with her ex-fiancé, Nick Loeb, who wants to use them with a surrogate. Ms. Vergara’s request to dismiss the case was denied, but no trial date has been set.
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Mr. Olp said his firm is likely to also join any appeal of recent cases in Chicago and San Francisco, involving women who froze embryos when they received cancer diagnoses and sought to use them after treatment, over the fathers’ objections.
The cases are part of the broader “personhood” debate that has become central to abortion politics. Advocates in many states are seeking laws that would make embryos full legal persons at fertilization — blocking not only abortion but also some forms of contraception and assisted reproduction. None have passed, and some anti-abortion groups say such laws go too far. But some Republican presidential candidates — Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee — support the personhood approach.
Anti-abortion groups turned their attention to custody of frozen embryos only recently. “Traditionally, even though excess embryos were produced, in vitro fertilization was seen as helping people have babies, so there was little interaction between that and anti-abortion advocacy,” said Lisa Ikemoto, a professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Law. “But as the debate over human embryonic stem-cell research heated up, anti-abortion groups woke up to the frozen embryo issue.”
Over the last decade, advocates seeking to represent embryos that might be killed in stem-cell research have challenged funding for such research, according to Judith F. Daar, a professor at Whittier Law School, but the courts rejected the cases, saying they had no standing to sue on behalf of such an amorphous group of embryos.
“These new cases are different in that they deal with specific identifiable embryos,” she said. “And the outside groups here are not trying to represent the embryos, but rather to make a case that the standard used should be the best interest of the embryo.”
The embryo disputes somewhat echo well-known right-to-die cases in which anti-abortion groups fought the removal of life support from patients in vegetative states — among them, Karen Ann Quinlan, Terri Schiavo and Nancy Cruzan.
“The frozen-embryo cases make the same argument,” said Gerard Nieters, legislative director of Missouri Right to Life. “It’s an obvious area for us, since this is what we’re about, the protection of innocent human life, from conception till natural death.”
Abortion opponents demonstrating in the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City in 2014. Anti-abortion groups are fighting to give frozen embryos the same protections as living children.
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Also like the so-called right-to-die suits, the embryo cases raise questions about outside interest groups’ involvement in wrenching family disputes, like the one in Missouri.
In April, a Family Court commissioner found that the embryos were not children under Missouri law, but a unique form of marital property, which she awarded jointly to Mr. Gadberry and Ms. McQueen, for use only if both agreed. The commissioner, Victoria McKee, said using the embryos could violate the right not to be forced to procreate and create complex emotional tangles for the children.
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apple 5 hours ago
Another article with a plethora of enthusiastic yet painfully misinformed commenters. Doctors don't "embed several embryos into her uterus"...
CharlesLynn 6 hours ago
No one should be wondering why young men are increasingly avoiding marriage. You loose control of absolutely everything!
A. Cleary 6 hours ago
I agree with the "mind your own business" commenters, but I can't help thinking that this problem arises because the law has not kept pace...
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“They would have to navigate why one parent did not want to actively parent the new child,” Ms. McKee wrote. “How difficult would it be for one parent to pick up the twins and not take an active role in the life of a new child standing right beside them? How difficult would it be for the newborn child?”
Ms. McQueen, 43, said she had told her 8-year-old twins that she was fighting for their brothers and sisters. “I answer their questions as best I can,” said Ms. McQueen, a lawyer who has formed an organization called Embryo Defense to support others in cases like hers. “It’s a very emotional thing,” she said.
Ms. McQueen added in an interview that she had for years considered herself a backer of abortion rights. But she is now very comfortable with her support from Missouri Right to Life, Lawyers for Life and the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “I would have been happy if the pro-choice groups had filed on my behalf,” she added, “because it is an important case and there are arguments on both sides.”
At trial, no one mentioned a provision in Missouri’s 1988 abortion law, which says that human life begins at conception and that “unborn children have protectable interests in life, health and well-being.” In the decision, Ms. McKee wrote instead, “Missouri courts and legislature provide no guidance on these issues.”
But the anti-abortion groups say failure to consider the Missouri law, plus the lack of scientific testimony on fetal growth, provides grounds for a reversal.
“This court should recognize, as the trial court did not, what science now unmistakenly establishes and what the Missouri General Assembly has acknowledged in the law of this state — new human life is created at the instant of sperm-oocyte binding,” their appeal brief said.
Mr. Schlesinger disagrees.
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“The language is from the preface to an abortion bill,” he said. “No one was thinking about frozen embryos when it passed. And if anyone tried to enforce it, I would say it’s illegal under Roe v. Wade.”
Missouri has spawned other cases about the boundaries of personhood, including the Cruzan case, in which the Supreme Court established the right to die but found that the state could require “clear and convincing evidence” that the patient would have wanted that.
Missouri also produced the court’s infamous 1857 Dred Scott case, in which it ruled that a slave was not a citizen, but property — a parallel that Ms. McQueen’s backers draw. In their brief they wrote, “our sorry legacy of having enslaved human beings” should “raise a red flag of caution” about treating embryos as property.
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