Just in case you were wondering, the Nick Loeb-frozen embryo situation is still a mess. Last year, just months after Loeb and Sofia Vergara broke up, he apparently sued her for full custody of the frozen embryos they had made while together. He claims that she wants to destroy the embryos (there are two girl embryos left). She claims that she’s not going to destroy them, she just wants them kept on ice indefinitely, possibly forever. Loeb is using this issue and this lawsuit to launch himself as some kind of anti-choice “life begins at fertilization” activist. His latest salvo? He’s written an op-ed for the New York Times which is headlined (and this is not a joke): “Sofía Vergara’s Ex-Fiancé: Our Frozen Embryos Have a Right to Live.” Ha, the NYT threw some shade by calling him “Sofia Vergara’s Ex-Fiancé,” right? Here’s the first part of the op-ed:
Last August, I filed a complaint in Santa Monica, Calif., using pseudonyms, to protect two frozen embryos I created with my former fiancée. I wanted to keep this private, but recently the story broke to the world. It has gotten attention not only because of the people involved — my ex is Sofía Vergara, who stars in the ABC series “Modern Family” — but also because embryonic custody disputes raise important questions about life, religion and parenthood.
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? 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? 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.
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.
My lawyers have identified 10 other cases in the United States in which a parent tried to have a fertilized, frozen embryo taken to term against the wishes of an opposing parent. In eight of those cases, the parent seeking custody lost. In the other two cases, one in Pennsylvania and one in Illinois, a woman was awarded custody of fertilized embryos over the man’s objections. In both cases, the woman had undergone chemotherapy treatment and the embryos were her last chance to have a biological child; judges ruled that the woman’s interest in becoming a parent outweighed the man’s interest in not becoming a parent. In the Illinois case (now on appeal), the judge found that the form the couple signed was not the binding contract, and instead enforced a verbal promise the man made to help the woman have children.
Many have asked me: Why not just move on and have a family of your own? 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.
Loeb goes on to detail all of the ladies he’s tried to have babies with, including one girlfriend who had an abortion and “the decision was entirely out of my hands.” He provides details of his relationship with Sofia too, saying that when they first met in 2010, he didn’t want to “pressure” her into getting pregnant right away because her career was taking off, but that in 2012, he “began to push for children.” He says that’s when Sofia “insisted that we use a surrogate.” Time passes, the first batch of embryos didn’t take, a couple of years pass and suddenly, “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.” Oh, so HE dumped HER? That’s his story. He dumped the woman who wouldn’t give him a baby and now he’s trying to get custody of the embryos they made together.
He ends the op-ed by claiming that Sofia’s wish to have the embryos kept on ice indefinitely is “tantamount to killing them” and he takes “the responsibility and obligation of being a parent very seriously. This is not just about saving lives; it is also about being pro-parent.” He also says that he offered Sofia the chance to co-parent the embryos after they broke up, because that’s not a creepy manipulation at all.
Gawker called this “The New York Times Helps Sofia Vergara’s Ex Give Birth to Idiot Opinion.” Word. I think it’s more than just an “idiot opinion.” Loeb is hellbent on making Sofia “pay” for breaking up with him and not wanting to have his children. It is legitimately creepy and this is the kind of scheming manipulator that women should avoid at all costs.
Photos courtesy of WENN.