Human Exceptionalism

Award Custody of Embryos in Their Best Interests

The more we remove reproduction from the normal way of having babies, the more complicated things become. Now, a court is to decide what happens to embryos after a couple splits–as if they are mere property. From the UPI story:

An estranged Illinois couple are battling in court over the future of frozen embryos they created before they broke up. Dr. Karla Dunston wants a biological child, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday. Her ex-boyfriend, Jacob Szafranski, a nurse, said forcing him into parenthood without consent would violate his rights, even though Dunston has said she does not expect financial help or any other assistance.

I would point out:

  1. That Szafranski is already a father, and indeed, became one with his own active and willing participation;
  2. In such cases the law should require a court to award custody based on the best interests of the embryos–to be born–rather than make the embryos’ fate a matter of contract law; and,
  3. Once embryos come into being they should be treated as nascent human beings. Just as a father could not order his ex to abort upon their split, so too, he should not be allowed to compel the destruction of nascent offspring.

But good grief. What are we doing, folks? 

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular

Economy & Business

The Swamp: Navarro Nucor Edition

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More


EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More

Nancy MacLean Won’t Quit

One of the biggest intellectual jousting matches last year was between Duke history professor Nancy MacLean, who wrote a slimy, dishonest book about Nobel Prize–winning economist James Buchanan and the whole limited-government movement, and the many scholars who blasted holes in it. If it had been a boxing ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More

How Germany Vets Its Refugees

At the height of the influx of refugees into Germany in 2015–17, there was little doubt that mixed among the worthy cases were economic migrants taking advantage of the chaos to seek their fortunes in Europe. Perhaps out of instinctive pro-immigrant sentiment, Germany’s Left obscured the difference. Its ... Read More