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Frozen embryos ordered destroyed in California divorce case

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo, in the first ruling of its kind in California, has ruled that the frozen embryos that 46-year-old Dr. Mimi Lee wants to use to have a baby must be destroyed in compliance with the original agreement and the objections made by her ex-husband, Stephen Findley.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in her ruling, Massullo writes: “It is a disturbing consequence of modern biological technology that the fate of the nascent human life, which the embryos in this case represent, must be determined in a court by reference to cold legal principles.”

Lee and Findley signed an agreement in 2010 that the two would undergo fertility treatments to have children after Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer. In this agreement, a clause stipulates that the embryos would be destroyed in the event that their marriage were to end. Lee and Findley filed for divorce in 2013. According to reports, Lee sought use of the embryos because the cancer has rendered her unable to procreate and she believed the original agreement was not binding.

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