In 1852, the Missouri Supreme Court paved the way for one of the most dreadful decisions in U.S. History: The Dred Scott Case. Humans were property. And now apparently, Missouri is at it again. This time, in 2017, the Missouri Supreme Court refused to review an abhorrent decision made by the Missouri Appellate Court stating that embryos are “property,” (my embryos, Noah and Genesis). The court decided that they would remain frozen and ultimately die unless I could convince my ex-husband to either allow me to carry them or give them up for adoption. Even in the face of a written agreement by both of us stating that I would receive the embryos if we ever divorced and his admission of signing the document, the court concocted a weak case to throw out the agreement and arrive at the decision they were looking for. This is about my two sweet little frozen babies named Noah and Genesis – the siblings of my 3 boys (my born children). My twins, who are 9, were conceived through the In Vitro Fertilization process (IVF), at the same time Noah and Genesis were conceived. Before every Catholic stops reading this, hear me out. This has little to do with IVF. It has everything to do with these two little lives that were conceived and belong in my womb to be given a chance to be born, just as all of us had that chance. If we are truly pro-life, we must decide how we will deal with this ever growing area of law that currently treats these precious and loved ones as property to be left to die or to be terminated – Missouri is not alone. There is a silent war going on in the courts that very few people know about, except if you read the tabloids reciting the struggle of Nick Loeb fighting for his daughters (both frozen embryos, Emma and Isabella) from Sofia Vergara who wants them never to see the light of day. This does not need to stay in the tabloids. This is a real threat to everything we hold dear as people who profess to value life.
Noah and Genesis’ fate may be determined by the US Supreme Court, which has not had a very good track record for life cases. It is also possible that the US Supreme Court will refuse to take the case and follow the Missouri Supreme Court’s lead. But it is true that Noah and Genesis’ lives hang in the balance. I have cried so much that I did not think it possible to cry much more. My boys are sad and dismayed by their father’s actions because Noah and Genesis are their siblings and a part of our family. I am grieving, just like any other parent who may lose a child. This is not theoretical for me. It is very real. I look at my twin boys every day and wonder if they would’ve been frozen how I would fight with every power I possess. And they know it as well. The other day one of them said, “I guess we were the lucky ones, we got out.” Survivor’s guilt created via our court system. It defies logic on how the Missouri Appellate Court arrived at their decision, without compassion and without any idea of what kind of impact the subsequent execution of Noah and Genesis would have on my family. If they would’ve given me my two embryos they could have cut off all parental rights to my ex-husband and his life would NOT have changed. But instead the court chose to side with my ex-husband who’s life REMAINS unchanged by their decision. But now mine and my family’s lives are in ruins at the thought of Noah and Genesis’ potential destruction. If this decision is left to stand, we have lost all compassion in our society. The precedent is very dangerous although the court claims this is a win for individual rights, stating that they would not interfere in something so “personal”. But they actually did interfere, because they did not uphold what we had already agreed to and they essentially sentenced by two children to death. There is nothing more personal than this decision by the court.
The courts all over the United States are making the same decision as Missouri. The courts have decided that it is better to leave these babies in cryo- freeze or to terminate them than it is to give them a chance to be born. Being an attorney, I have read all the case law and it is quite disturbing. The courts make up law as they go along simply to prevent a parent like me from having my own offspring. When it is convenient for them, they uphold contracts to terminate the embryos, which is what happened to my friend Mimi Lee. She had cancer and this was her last chance to carry her own flesh and blood offspring. Her frozen babies were ordered to be killed. May they rest in peace. Nobody can tell me that justice was served by any of these cases. Legislating from the bench, Missouri created a new category of property out of thin air because they knew if they had to use the current property statute that I would still gain custody. It is sick. It is sad. And it is utterly disgraceful. That our society would allow this type of behavior from our courts is appalling. And yet the legislatures in the states do nothing because either they do not know what is happening or they stick their head in the sand. The majority of states have absolutely NO legislation on this issue. The courts are doing whatever they please and destroying families and lives in the process.
There is a silent war against parents, against life. A silent war that the pro-life movement has yet to realize – the killing of 4-day old embryos while a parent fights for the right to have their own offspring. This is madness. It is without doubt that this issue will be heard by the US Supreme Court at some point. And the decision will be worse than Roe v. Wade because the body of law forming supports any court’s decision to terminate lives over the objections of one of the parents. In my case, the Missouri Supreme Court felt that it did not warrant a review. So declaring humans property does not warrant a review? If there is any case that warrants a review by the Missouri Supreme Court, it would be this case. But maybe it is not surprising coming from a court who declared humans property over a century ago.
This is the warped view of justice that we have created for ourselves. I will probably never see my dear Noah and Genesis grow up. I am left at the mercy of a man who does not value life. I will probably never get to see my little Noah and Genesis take their first steps or help them with their homework. And what is worse is that my born children will not experience the love of their siblings first hand. They will not be able to play with them. Fight with them. And sit around the dinner table with them. It is gut wrenching. When I heard the news about the Missouri Supreme Court denying certiorari, I felt so beaten. The last time I felt this sad was when I lost my 16 week old baby in a miscarriage. Her name was Jenny. And me and my boys cried. We had lost a part of the family. And now I am on the verge of losing two babies again, not because God decided but because the court decided.
It’s taken me awhile to gather myself, but I will do everything I can moving forward to ensure the survival of Noah and Genesis and the survival of other babies just like them. No one should have to experience what I have gone through. Both men and women together have the power to conceive. And women forget how powerful we are in being able to nurture and carry our offspring; how we can develop these wonderful amazing miracles of life inside of us. We, as a society, destroy that power when we destroy life. There is nothing empowering about these court decisions. If we cannot take care of our weakest and smallest in our society, then we are lost. And if we as a society decide that the government and the courts have a right to destroy life and deny us one of the most amazing powers we possess, then we are lost.
There is a silent war; a war against compassion, against reason and against everything we stand for as Americans and humans. This doesn’t fit neatly into a box or a category. It crosses ideologies and racial divides. These little embryos are my children. No one can tell me otherwise. It is the connection between a parent and a child that should not be severed by a judge. It is an unbreakable bond that the courts have so easily tossed aside without any regard to the feelings of who they leave in their wake, needless to say the little miracles that await their birth. I ask for prayers and thoughts and I asked that anyone remotely interested in this go to www.embryodefense.org. We must spread the word about this silent war. We should not remain silent anymore.