Legal Status of Frozen Embryos

labDear Friends for Life:   In recent years, much has been written on the legal status of frozen embryos. Throughout human history, babies are born around nine months after being conceived by the union of the father’s sperm cell with mother’s egg cell. Today scientists are able to remove the egg cell from the mother, unite it to the father’s sperm cell and then freeze the embryo. At a future date, the frozen embryo can be thawed, implanted into the mother’s womb or any unrelated woman’s womb. The odds are that less than 50% that it will develop into a normal child.

strawsThe most recent case hitting the newspapers is the fight between actress Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiancé Nick Loeb. The big question: Who owns their frozen embryos, Sofia or Nick? Couples who break up often fight over many things, but since 1984, “in vitro fertility treatments” have created a new frontier: Who owns the frozen embryos that often result from such procedures? Does one have the right to destroy the unused embryos? Is the embryo a human being? (photo: straws on left to freeze embryos in)

To briefly answer these questions, I quote from the comments of my good friend Dr. Dianne N Irving, Ph.D. on a recent article: Who Owns The Embryos Sofia Vergara and Her Ex Created?

[Notes: Heads up, people! An embryo (frozen or otherwise) is just a “potential human being”? Good grief. Unreal. Even from the beginning of the sexual reproductive process of fertilization (or even from the beginning of when a-sexually reproduced human embryos begin to exist as in cloning, genetic engineering, etc.), A NEW GENETICALLY DISTINCT HUMAN BEING WHO IS A HUMAN PERSON BEGINS TO EXIST. Not new! Been known since the late 1880’s, institutionalized in 1942 with the Carnegie States of Early Human Embryonic Development and updated every year since then to the present, documented since then in genuine Human Embryology Textbooks – known long before Roe vs Wade! THIS IS NOT A SUBJECTIVE OR PERSONAL “BELIEF”; IT IS LONG-KNOWN EMPIRICALLY DOCUMENTED OBJECTIVE SCIENTIFIC FACT! Yet because of this new “controversy” about who these frozen EMBRYOS belong to we’re back to the same ole fake “science” used “YESTERDAY”.

Quoting from the article: “Embryos are not looked upon as people,” Collura said. “Individuals – because of their own beliefs – can certainly do that, but state government, the federal government and the court do not look upon frozen embryos as people. There is special consideration given because they have the potential for life, but in the legal sense – as crass as it is to say – they are viewed as property.”

Yes, was and is “crass” — and dumb. Even a single-cell embryo from the BEGINNING of the process of fertilization (or asexual reproduction) is already a living human being with the potential to grow bigger and bigger — NOT a “potential” human being who doesn’t exist yet A sperm IS a “potential human being/person”; and “egg” IS a potential human being/person. An EMBRYO IS ALREADY an already existing human being/person. And once the embryo begins to exist, the PARENTS are immediately parents — not “potential parents“! And if the government and courts don’t reflect these SCIENTIFIC FACTS then it’s long past time to change those laws and regulations! Or are they afraid to let people know just how long they have been lied to? Or maybe they see the need to justify all the human genetic engineering research and reproductive “infertility” treatments soon to come in all those IVF and ART facilities? Aha!

** See the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development: Stage 1:“Embryonic life commences with fertilization, and hence the beginning of that process may be taken as the point de depart of stage 1.”
   <<  The Virtual Human Embryo, Stage 1

   <<  iTunes iPhone Embryo App

   << Endowment for Human Development, DVD “The Biology of Prenatal Development”

** Irving and Kischer, The Human Development Hoax: Time To Tell The Truth! (Gold Leaf Press, 1995, ISBN 1-886769-01-X; 2nd ed. 1997)

** Irving:
   <<  Updated References for Accurate “Language” Re “Human Being”/”Human Person”/”Personhood” (Feb. 2, 2015)

   <<  Caution Again: Need to Use Newer URL’s for Carnegie Stages for Issues Concerning the Early Human Embryo (Jan. 1, 2015)

   <<  “Why Accurate Human Embryology Is Needed To Evaluate Current Trends In Research Involving Stem Cells, Genetic Engineering, Synthetic Biology and Nanotechnology” (November 20, 2012)

   <<  “Philosophical and scientific expertise: An evaluation of the arguments on ‘personhood'”, Linacre Quarterly February 1993

   <<  400-page doctoral dissertation, Philosophical and scientific analysis of the nature of the early human embryo (Georgetown University 1991)   –End of Notes]

Dr Dianne’s notes, articles and research papers contain a weath of current information. Her writings focus on facts which are well-referenced, a tremendous assest to those seeking truth and understanding. We need more catholic scholars like Dr. Dianne N Irving to guide us through current scientific developments and Catholic Teachings. More detailed study on this and related topics can be found at Dianne N. Irving Library.

(Dr. Irving’s professional activities include teaching positions at Georgetown University, Catholic University of America, and The Dominican House of Studies. She represented the Catholic Medical Association of the United States, and the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, at the Scientific Conference in Mexico City, Mexico, October 28, 1999 and presented a paper on “The Dignity and Status of the Human Embryo”. Dr. Irving is a former career-appointed bench research biochemist/biologist (NIH, NCI, Bethesda, MD), an M.A. and Ph.D. philosopher (Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.), and Professor of the History of Philosophy, and of Medical Ethics.)

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI


For more “Clear Thinking about crucial issues” go to Fr. Jerry’s Website:



(The Difference is LIFE)  “No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it.”  – St. Maximilian Kolbe



Websites by Fr. Jerry


(English)  Fr. Jerry’s Blog   **[Fighting for the Culture of Life]


(Japanese)  Fr. Jerry’s Blog   **[Human Rights: The Road to a Happy Life]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: