Today in my Gender and the Law class the case of Natallie Evans came up for discussion. It is a harrowing case of a woman who had her ovaries removed in October 2001 because of pre-cancerous tumours.
Due to this fact she and her former partner created frozen embryos for them to use when they wanted children.They separated before she could implant the embryos. As a consequence of the Human Fertility and Embryology Act 1990 the permission of the father is needed at every stage of the process.
Her former partner revoked his consent and as a consequence she brought her case to the courts and was defeated at every stage. She then went to the European Court yesterday and lost on a split 5-2 decision.
I really feel for this woman, this is her only chance at having any children of her own and if the embryos are not implanted by October then they have to be destroyed. This man is despicable in my opinion. He can have kids at any time he wants but he is denying her this chance at a family.
The judge should have supported the use of the embryos as the father gave his consent at the time and that should be enough.
What I did extrapolate from this case is the barefaced hypocrisy of the British judicial system when it comes to the issue of reproductive rights.They are basically saying that for life to begin it requires the permission of both partners that however is in stark contrast to the issue of abortion where the permission of the man is not sought when it comes to murdering life.
This case has huge Gender consequences and I would like to see the pro-life lobby place as much pressure on this man as they do on pregnant women who opt to kill their children (sorry have to call a spade a spade here)
They won't however because he is a man!