With the number of frozen embryos in the United States soaring into the millions, disputes over who owns them are also on the rise. Judges have often — but not always — ruled in favor of the person who does not want the embryos used, sometimes ordering them destroyed, following the theory that no one should be forced to become a parent.
Arizona, however, is taking the opposite approach. Under a first-in-the-nation law that went into effect July 1, custody of disputed embryos must be given to the party who intends to help them “develop to birth.”
The legislation could dramatically alter the practice of fertility medicine, as well as the debate over when life begins. It is already fueling an argument by some conservative groups that frozen embryos are not mere tissue over which people may exercise ownership rights but human beings who should be accorded rights of their own.
[Many disputes] have become entangled in the stormy politics of abortion. Attorneys claim the right not to procreate is protected by the Constitution, citing Roe v. Wade and rulings that protect people’s access to contraception. With conflicting rulings in various states, many predict the issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read full, original post: Who gets the embryos? Whoever wants to make them into babies, new law says.