Sofia Vergara’s Ex Loses Battle Over Embryos, Despite His Attempt To Weaponize Catholic Guilt

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Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb

After seven years, the legal battle over Sofia Vergara's frozen embryos is finally over.

The battle of the exes came to a close on Monday, March 29, after years of legal back and forth between Vergara and Nick Loeb.

The couple ended their engagement in 2014, but had undergone in vitro fertilization the previous year, producing frozen embryos while still in a relationship. Since then, Loeb has kept Vergara in an ongoing custody battle, trying to claim the frozen embryos he created with the actress.

“It's sad that Sofia, a devout Catholic, would intentionally create babies just to kill them,” Nick Loeb said in a statement after losing his final appeal.

Because, of course, when it comes to determining the rights of women, their bodies, and their reproduction, who better to consult than the Catholic church?

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In 2017, after marrying Joe Manganiello, Vergara filed documents to prevent Loeb from being able to use the embryos without her consent.

Loeb had already been denied full custody of the embryos the previous year, but relentlessly made his case increasingly public, taking his attempts to Louisiana courts.

He named the pre-embryos “Emma” and “Isabella” and created trusts for both.

In doing so, he also breached his and Vergara’s original contract, which explicitly states he has no right to attempt to bring the embryos to term without her consent.

This breach would later be to Loeb’s detriment, as courts this week ruled against his plans to implant the embryos in a surrogate, concluding that Loeb would not be able to use them with written consent from Vergara.

The case, and others like it, have added a whole new dimension to the debate on the "right to life," much of which is rooted in Christian beliefs.

Loeb’s comments, and his efforts in court, expose how this belief system is consistently weaponized against women, even in cases where modern science prevails.

Loeb plays into Catholic guilt by using Vergara’s beliefs against her.

Weaponising someone’s religious beliefs against them appears particularly ironic in this context.

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The Catholic Church has never been a particularly welcoming place for women who become mothers against their will.

Using their teachings in this way only adds another layer to the long history of female oppression in the church.

Vergara’s choice to interpret Catholicism in her own way without subscribing to all of its teaching about rights to life is one many Christians can relate to and is not something Loeb or anyone else has authority to speak on.

Even at the highest levels of the Catholic Church, IVF is condemned and criticized, meaning the church’s place in this debate is already inappropriate.

Loeb used a pro-life stance to exert control over Vergara.

If Loeb wants to pick and choose which of the church’s teachings to follow then he should allow Vergara to do the same.

This isn't the first time Loeb has attempted to manipulate Vergara by using her religious or cultural identity against her. Loeb previously described her as "classless" for speaking Spanish in front of him, betraying a disinterest in her background and values when they do not directly benefit him.

Under the guise of being pro-life, Loeb has been casting judgments on Vergara from a moral high ground. But his protests against Vergara are also inconsistent with his past actions.

Courts heard in 2016 that two of Loeb’s exes had abortions during their relationship with him. Loeb argued that these were performed against his will, and has refused to name either of the women involved.

He did so under the pretense that a woman has a right to privacy, which is a valid argument. But this right somehow never applied to Vergara when he spoke publicly about their court battle in a New York Times article.

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Nor has this stance on his exes’ autonomy been consistent with his desire to make Vergara the mother of his children against her will.

If Loeb was so disturbed by his exes’ decisions to follow through with an abortion without his consent, then he already knows how it feels to have your choice taken away from you.

Yet he has still attempted to do the same to Vergara.

The businessman is clearly familiar with all the avenues one can take to become a parent, yet seems irrevocably set on this one despite initially agreeing that both parties had to consent back in 2014.

Loeb believes the ruling is part of a wider plot, saying in his statement, “The judge was clearly influenced by Hollywood.”

He then, without irony, promoted his upcoming film, Roe vs Wade, which he claims exposes this plot.

As IVF becomes an increasingly popular choice for families, cases like this reveal how the law lags behind and fails to protect parties involved.

Legislation varies from state to state and often changes on a case-by-case basis, making it increasingly difficult to determine rights and wrongs.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.