MO frozen embryo dispute may have legal personhood implications

Louisiana court

On Wednesday, December 23, the Thomas More Society intends to file an amicus brief in a Missouri court case that could set major precedent for recognizing preborn personhood, the law firm has stated in a press release.

McQueen v. Gadberry revolves around the disputed custody of two frozen embryos from the now-divorced Jalesia McQueen and Justin Gadbery. Thomas More has gotten involved in the case on behalf of Missouri Right to Life, Lawyers for Life, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, making the case that because embryos are living human beings with individual rights, they cannot be subjected to a contract dispute as if they were property.

“Currently, the legal precedent dealing with frozen embryos is based on erroneous and misconceived ‘science’ which denies the intrinsic humanity of the human embryos, treats them as mere property,” Thomas More special counsel Rita Gitchell said, “and subjects them to disposition according to the terms of private contracts to which they were neither parties nor participants in the bargaining process.”

Tomas More president Tom Brejcha added that the case held distinct parallels to the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision that once denied the full humanity of black Americans: “In both situations, some humans… are belittling and degrading other humans by disregarding their true scientific status, and denigrating them as if they were merely items of property which could be owned, sold, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of at the unregulated option and whim of others. This is simply and grossly inhumane and must be deemed by civilized folks as both morally and legally unacceptable.”

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