A man cannot prevent his estranged wife from using frozen embryos created during their marriage because of the right to life of the unborn, the Republic’s Supreme Court heard yesterday.
The claim was made on the opening day of an appeal by a mother of two against her failed High Court action aimed at having three embryos implanted in her uterus with a view to becoming pregnant — against the wishes of her estranged husband.
Mary Roche (43) brought the action arising out of the creation of three embryos through IVF treatment undertaken by her and her husband Thomas Roche in 2002 at the SIMS fertility clinic in Rathgar, Dublin.
Mr Roche (46) opposed the embryos being returned to his estranged wife.
He has said he wanted no more children with her.
Yesterday, Ms Roche’s lawyers argued Mr Roche is prevented, both by the Constitution and various documents signed by him, from stopping her having the remaining embryos implanted in her womb.
The State, because of the 1983 constitutional amendment requiring it to protect and vindicate the right to life of the unborn, must facilitate the implantation of the remaining embryos, Gerard Hogan, for Ms Roche, said.
In this case, the woman could not be denied implantation as she wanted to provide “a home” for the embryos, Mr Hogan said.
Counsel said Mr Roche had also signed documents expressly recognising that he would be the legal father of any child resulting from the implantation of the embryos and it was “too late” for him to say he does not want any more children with his wife.
The court heard that the couple separated in 2002.\[Prestige\]Story 'Frozen embryos com3' fetched from queue '\BELFAST\WIRE\INM Feeds\Dublin\News' on 02/02/2009 20:27:51