Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Searching for Solomon

The BBC reports on the two British women who each challenged Britain’s embryo law requiring which says "both parties must consent to the storage and use of embryos at every stage of the IVF process." In both of the High Court cases, the women wanted to implant their embryos and birth a child, while their male partners wanted the embryos destroyed. The High Court ruled that under British law the embryos must be destroyed.

This is an interesting spin on an anti-abortion strategy often proposed in the States. Anti-abortion advocates have suggested that because the father has just as much interest in the fetus as the mother, both parties must consent before the fetus can be destroyed. Of course, that’s not how it works here or in England, but it’s been argued. As the women note,

if they had fallen pregnant naturally, and then split up with their partners, the men would have no say over whether or not they could have their babies.

But oddly enough, in the case of embryos, even if the mother wants to have the child, the father’s interest in not procreating trumps the interests of both the mother and the child. Giving men a final say, it seems, will not always save the embryo from King Solomon’s sword.

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