In a case similar to the one brought on to Sofia Vergara by her ex, Nick Loeb, a woman in St. Louis is asking a court for custody of the two frozen embryos she jointly owns with her former husband. Before their divorce in 2014, Jalesia McQueen and Justin Gadberry froze four embryos and used in vitro fertilization to have two sons. A court ruled that the couple both own the two remaining embryos, but McQueen wants to use them now to have more children.

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AP reports that McQueen appealed the ruling to the Missouri Court of Appeals. Gadberry wants the embryos destroyed or donated to research or an infertile couple. The case echoes the battle between Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiancé Nick Loeb. In April, Loeb petitioned the courts to save Vergara’s frozen embryos so he could someday use a surrogate to birth them, though they split up in 2014 and she is now married to Joe Manganiello.

“When you go through this process and see these embryos created, they’re your babies,” McQueen said. She is also a co-founder of Embryo Defense, an organization that advocates saving frozen embryos. Anti-abortion groups, including Missouri Right to Life, are in support of McQueen and are petitioning the court to argue on her behalf.

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“No court of record has held that embryos are a person, or are entitled to constitutional protections,” Gadberry’s attorney, Tim Schlesinger, said. A hearing for the case has not been set.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

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