Sofia Vergara's Ex Compares Embryo Battle to Slavery, Likens His Case to '12 Years a Slave'

Home / The Law / Sofia Vergara's Ex Compares Embryo Battle to Slavery, Likens His Case to '12 Years a Slave'

By TheBlast Staff on April 9, 2018 at 8:19 AM EDT

Sofia Vergara's ex-fiancé went there.

In new documents filed as part of a years-long battle over two frozen embryos, Nick Loeb is trying to compare his battle with the "Modern Family" star to the issue of slavery.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Loeb argues that the debate over the embryos being either product or people "only one other time in our United States history from which any legal precedent may be reviewed – the pre- Civil War era."

After giving the legal definition of slavery, he concludes, "Under these simple definitions, a human embryo, if believed to be a human being and alive, (which is our contention) would be considered a slave and the parents would be the owners of the slave, particularly in states where they are considered property."

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The issue is of importance because Loeb filed his most recent lawsuit in Louisiana, which does consider embryos as biological human beings" — as opposed to California, which views them as product and not human beings. Loeb also recently relocated to Lousiana before filing suit.

That's when Loeb envokes "12 Years a Slave," the story of Solomon Northup which was turned into an Oscar-winning film.

Northup was born a free man in New York and later abducted and sold into slavery. He was eventually rescued from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana.

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"There was a question at the time as to whether New York had the jurisdiction to reach into Louisiana and retrieve Northup," the lawsuit stated. "But the New York governor discussed it with Louisiana officials and they were allowed to retrieve him. There are also dozens of cases (called the Freedom Suits), where slaves themselves or their family members applied for freedom in slave states and won."

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He concludes the thought, saying, "The reference to slave cases is to demonstrate the jurisdictional and legal issues arising from this stark difference in how human beings are categorized. In modern day, frozen human embryo disputes and the question of how they are categorized (human being or property) has become more frequent. Since there is little or no legislation in most states on this issue, state courts are left to decide if embryos are human beings or property or something in between and what to do in cases of dispute."

Last month, Vergara went to court demanding Loeb’s latest lawsuit over their frozen embryos be dismissed. Loeb has previously sued Vergara not once, but twice … with Vergara coming away victorious both times.

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Loeb’s latest lawsuit was filed in January in Louisiana, his third lawsuit over the embryos. Vergara argues the case has no connection to Louisiana and should be dismissed.

Loeb and Vergara dated for several years but split in 2014. They had two frozen embryos at the time and the terms of their arrangement required consent from both of them before they could be brought to term.

He wants Vergara’s motion to dismiss denied and the case to continue on.

A judge has yet to rule.

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