Natallie Evans was distraught after the European Court ruled that her right to become a mother did not outweigh Mr Johnston’s right not to become the father of her children, in an embryo custody case which has been in the public arena now for some years.
‘We are deeply saddened and perplexed by the absurdity of the situation revealed by the final verdict of the European Court of Human Rights,’ says a spokesperson from CORE. ‘The judgment yet again side-steps involvement in domestic cases when right to life issues are at stake.
‘We regret a verdict that means the embryos will now be destroyed. Howard Johnston chose to become a father the moment the embryos were created. This judgment highlights the way the law treats the human embryo as a commodity rather than a human life. The parties signed a contract on the creation of human life, but when one of the parties no longer agreed with the original terms, the law determined that the human life should be thrown away.
‘The absurdity of the current law is highlighted if you consider that had Mr Johnston died or become mentally incapacitated before revoking his consent, implantation of the embryos could have gone ahead.
It is interesting to compare the reaction of the public in this instance with recent cases of child abduction. Everyone is sympathetic to the anguish of a mother if her children are abducted by an ex-partner. Yet it is extraordinary how quickly the public seem to have lost sympathy for Natallie Evans, who too has had her offspring denied to her by an ex-boyfriend; an ex-boyfriend who would rather see them destroyed than allow them to continue living.
‘The law in this field is totally inadequate, and the embryo is not provided with proper protection. Some offer as a solution that only eggs and sperm should be frozen to avoid these almost inevitable conflicts. Certainly, unless the law is changed, wherever embryos are frozen there is the potential for a repeat scenario of Natallie’s sad experience.
‘We commend Natallie for her great fight and are very sorry that she was not successful in defending her embryos and giving them a chance to be born.’