Nick Loeb, former fiance of actress Sofia Vergara, has revealed that he sued the "Modern Family" star to protect their frozen embryos because keeping the "two lives" frozen forever is "tantamount to killing them."
In the op-ed published Wednesday for the New York Times titled "Our Frozen Embryos Have a Right to Life," the 39 year old businessman reveals that as a child of divorced parents, he'd always wished for a happy, functional family.
"For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of being a parent," he writes.
Loeb laments how, in his 20s, his girlfriend had an abortion and the decision was "entirely out of my hands." Later, he married a woman with whom he tried to have children with the help of a fertility specialist, but the marriage eventually ended.
After suffering a severe injury resulting from a car accident, Loeb said he was struck by the brevity of life. Thus, shortly after he and Vergara became engaged, Loeb reveals he began "to push for children" but she insisted they use a surrogate. Initially, two fertilized embryos were created: the first one implanted didn't take, and the surrogate miscarried the second. "I felt crushed," he wrote.
Two more embryos were created before their relationship ended, and Loeb offered to take full parental responsibility if Vergara didn't want to share custody, but she refused. In a statement to E! Online, Vergara's lawyer revealed that the actress has no intention of destroying the embryos, but also has no desire for them to be brought to term.
"In my view, keeping them frozen forever is tantamount to killing them," Loeb writes.
"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?"
Loeb explains that while he has every intention of moving on and having a family of his own, it "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."
He said he takes the responsibility of being a parent seriously. "This is not just about saving lives; it is also about being pro-parent," he writes.
Loeb is also reportedly suing the fertility clinic where they underwent IVF, because they did not account for what should happen to the embryos if the couple split.
According to the New Yorker, this kind of dillema is far too common, as there are an estimated six hundred thousand-some say more than a million-frozen embryos in the United States.
"One of the many unanticipated questions stirred by developments in reproductive technology is what to do with them," writes New Yorker reporter Madeline Schwartz. "What happens when couples split up? The frozen pre-embryos aren't children, but they aren't exactly property, either. Who decides what happens to them?"
The report notes that many unwanted embryos are donated for research, resulting in their eventual destruction. Others are thawed out and destroyed, while at the same time, thousands of newly-created embryos continue to be frozen every year.
"It's a tragedy that an industry that traffics in human beings has turned a domestic conflict between two celebrities into a matter of life and death," said Mary Riley, Administrative Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, based in Napa, California. "But even more tragic is that a mother would insist on the death of her offspring. No one has the right to a dead child."
"Mr. Loeb is doing the right thing in trying to save his little girls," Riley adds, Christian Newswire reports. "It's sad what the abortion mentality has done to our society. Abortion advocates commonly say that a woman has a right over her own body. But these two surviving embryos - little girls, really, at a very early stage of development - are not parts of Ms. Vergara's body. They aren't even in Ms. Vergara's body. Mr. Loeb isn't suing over Ms. Vergara's body. He's suing to save the lives of his daughters. And those opposing him are insisting instead that his offspring be killed."