Embryo Ownership: Men's and Women's Rights

Essay by swimchika13College, UndergraduateA, May 2004

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Embryo Ownership: Men's and Women's Rights

Recently, there has been much progress with the process of in vitro fertilization. Infertile couples are able to have kids, through therapy or through a surrogate, and now through embryo implantation. This is a process in which both egg and sperm are taken from a man and a woman and the egg is then fertilized by the sperm. Then the egg is implanted in the woman, resulting in pregnancy. Lately, there has been much argument and debate about ownership of embryos, especially under certain circumstances, such as death or divorce. The absence of laws regulating what is to be done in such conditions is causing many problems, and tiresome debates about who owns an embryo. The persons in which the egg and sperm was extracted from should have equal say and control over what is to be done with the embryo. Laws should be introduced to clarify and distinguish who 'owns' an embryo.

Both parties involved in the creation of the embryo should be able to have partial control over what happens to the embryo.

The embryo ownership debate has sparked numerous arguments. Some women feel the need to bring about the Roe v. Wade case to argue their right to the cryogenically frozen embryos. This is illogical and there is no reason for the case to be brought up in a dispute about who should be in possession of the embryos. First of all, the Roe v. Wade case deals with a fetus, not an embryo. The fetus is the beginnings of a live human, inside of a woman, while the embryo is, "the pre-fetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development" (Dictionary.com). An embryo is not a living organism, and therefore is incomparable to a fetus, which is...