Following upon my post the other day, on the young woman who drowned her newborn, and was let off with more or less a warning, here is another bizarre story, from the opposite end of the spectrum: An actor, Nick Loeb, of whom I know nothing, is suing his former paramour, Sofia Vergara, of whom I know now only that she is the highest paid actress on television (she earns $1 million per episode for some show of which I also know nothing, ‘Modern Family’, but it does not sound all that good).
The suit is for the couple’s embryos, which they ‘produced’ together, so he (presumably with the help of the womb of a female friend) can save their lives and raise them up as his children. The bizarre part is that he has claimed the two embryos, who have been named Emma and Isabella, as cooperators in the suit. That is, as near as I can figure this out, the embryos are suing their own mother, with the help of their father, for the right to life. How can embryos, who are considered non-persons, sue? Well, as the article explains
The potentially landmark case has been filed in Louisiana because the state legally recognizes an in vitro fertilized egg as a “juridical person” until it is implanted in the womb.
There is much wrong and right in this case. The good: The father’s desire to save his children, and adopt them as his own. Who’s going to argue with that? There is also the life of the embryos themselves who, we hope, will achieve eternal bliss at the end of their tragic little lives.
The bad? Well, the ‘bad’ comprises most of this mess. The ill-fated coupling of these over-feted actors, so intent on their own fulfilment that they bring into existence, through the immoral means of in vitro fertilization, at least two little babies (likely more, who would have been destroyed), keeping them in the degrading condition of ‘cold storage’ from which there is no morally licit way to save them.
There are two Church documents which address the issue of ‘artificial reproduction’, the 1987 Donum Vitae, and the 2008 Dignitatis Personae, both promulgated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
Concerning his intention to somehow bring these embryos to term, the latter has this to say to Nick Loeb and all the other parents and would-be parents of frozen children:
It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of “prenatal adoption”. This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above.
Problems as in, the intrinsically perverse action of implanting a baby in a womb, real, artificial or something in-between. As soon as we allow that, the door to Brave New World is wide open. Thus, the document continues:
All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved. Therefore John Paul II made an “appeal to the conscience of the world’s scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of ‘frozen’ embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons” (emphasis in original).
That is, Emma and Isabella were doomed (in a temporal sense, not eternal) from the first moment of their existence.
There is one more good thing that might accrue, as per the Texas law requiring proper disposal of aborted and miscarried preborn babies: It may wake up the wider world bit more to the fact that there is a life at conception, growing into full maturity, and any ‘interruption’ of this process on our part is a gravely immoral act.
Oh, and it may make people think twice before they watch the dysfunction that is Modern Family ever again. Sometimes, art is all too true to life, or is that vice versa?