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Sofia Vergara’s ex Nick Loeb brought his legal battle for custody of two frozen embryos created during the couple’s relationship to a new level, likening the embryos to slaves in court papers filed Monday.
In the papers, filed in federal court in Louisiana, Loeb opposes Vergara’s motion to dismiss the suit and compares the embryos — dubbed “Emma” and “Isabella” in the lawsuit — to slaves.
“In order to understand the full complexity of this case and the Plaintiffs’ legal basis, we must first acknowledge that there is a large divide between states that view human embryos as chattel, human tissue or products, like California, and states, such as Louisiana, that view human embryos as ‘biological human beings,’ and, secondly, that this divide existed only one other time in our United States history from which any legal precedent may be reviewed – the pre-Civil War era,” the filing reads.
The filing goes on to offer dictionary definitions of “slavery” and “slave.”
“Under these simple definitions, a human embryo, if believed to be a human being and alive, (which is our contention) would be considered a slave and the parents would be the owners of the slave, particularly in states where they are considered property,” the filing reads. “In these states, parents have the full authority to kill their embryos, send them to experimentation for research purposes which ends in their death or have them given to another couple. The parents have complete dominion over their offspring. The embryos are the parents’ ‘property’ and held to serve the needs of the parents.”
Monday’s filing goes so far as to drag the 1853 memoir “Twelve Years a Slave,” later adapted into the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave,” into the argument.
Monday’s filing states that the slavery issue is being brought up to “demonstrate the jurisdictional and legal issues arising from this stark difference in how human beings are categorized.”
Loeb initially launched his legal battle for control of the former couple’s embryos in 2014, filing suit against “Modern Family” star Vergara in Los Angeles Superior Court.
That suit was dismissed, but the legal saga migrated to Louisiana, where, the court papers say, Loeb took up residence in December 2017.