Sofia Vergara’s Ex Wants To Bring Their Embryos To Term, Raise Them As His Own

Photo: Stewart Cook/REX Shutterstock.
Update: This morning on The Howard Stern Show, Sofia Vergara broke her silence about her ex Nick Loeb's bid to bring the former couple's embryos to term against her will. "A child needs a loving relationship of parents who get along. Who don’t hate each other,” Vergara pointed out. “I wouldn’t imagine [bringing kids into the world] who are already set up [with] everything wrong for them. It would be so selfish." Vergara shared that she has not read Loeb's op-ed in the New York Times arguing his right to declare Vergara an "egg donor," bring their embryos to term, and raise the children alone. Vergara also chooses not to discuss the case with her fiancé Joe Manganiello. Instead, she focuses on the positive aspects of her current relationship: "We’re moving to a new house, he’s promoting Magic Mike, I’m doing this new movie. We’re planning our wedding. We try not to think about this."

This story was originally published on April 30, 2015.

Yesterday, Sofia Vergara's ex-fiancé, Nick Loeb, published an op-ed in the New York Times about his legal battle with Vergara over the fate of embryos the former couple created and froze.

Loeb writes that he and Vergara created two female embryos in 2013 to open the possibility of having biological children together through surrogacy. When Vergara expressed less interest in immediate parenthood than Loeb, he gave her an ultimatum: kids, or part ways. Vergara chose to split with Loeb and is now, by all accounts, happily engaged to Joe Manganiello. She's even discussed the possibility of having kids with her new fiancé. Now, Loeb is fighting for the right to bring his and Vergara's embryos to term and raise them, claiming full custody and declaring Vergara an "egg donor" if she does not wish to help with childrearing.

Whatever struggles Loeb is facing in his personal life, this battle boils down to whether or not the embryos in question are "people," with lives and rights Loeb is entitled to protect. Loeb describes how his absent mother and inattentive father made him "yearn for the type of family based on the images one might see in a Norman Rockwell painting." We're curious whether a bitter relationship with the biological mother of his children — a mother who neither desires nor consents to these children's births — factors into Loeb's Rockwellian tableau.

But, Loeb's history is beside the point. As he writes, "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." We're pretty sure that once biological material leaves a person's body, that person does not automatically relinquish control over how that material is used. Does the name Henrietta Lacks — the poor, Black woman whose cells were (unbeknownst to her) used to develop the polio vaccine, IVF, cloning, and more — ring a bell?

It's also unclear why, if Loeb is so convinced that the fate of frozen eggs is unlike the issues raised in abortion, he poses this question: "A woman is entitled to bring a pregnancy to term, even if the man objects. 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?"

"This is not just about saving lives; it is also about being pro-parent," Loeb continues — implying that every woman who has terminated a pregnancy (or decided against implanting her frozen embryos) is anti-parent. Or, you know, perhaps Vergara simply doesn't want to have children with her ex.

Another important wrinkle in this saga: When they created the embryos, Loeb and Vergara signed a contract stating that "any embryos created through the process could be brought to term only with both parties’ consent." Loeb is fighting to have this form nullified, pointing out that it did not state what would happen if Loeb and Vergara split. Loeb's argument, then, is that when Vergara broke up with Loeb because he wanted to have kids immediately and she did not, Vergara gave up the right to decide whether or not to bring kids with Loeb into the world. Really?

The holes in his argument are many, but the pivotal question remains: Are the two embryos in question Loeb's daughters, his to raise and protect — or are they the biological souvenirs of a failed relationship over which Vergara retains as much control as Loeb? We're going with the latter, and hoping any court does the same.
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