Nick Loeb‚ Little Girls and the Paradoxes of IVF

The way the media reports it, it is a freakish story. Two well-known Hollywood celebrities, Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb, are involved in what amounts to a custody battle over frozen embryos that they had conceived together, through in vitro fertilization, back when they were an item. Vergara, a major star known for her role in Modern Family, is now engaged to marry yet another celebrity. She allegedly wants to thaw, and thus destroy, the embryos; she certainly wants to prevent their implantation and birth. This has been treated by most commentators as a perfectly reasonable determination. But Loeb, the father, isn’t in accord with the Spirit of the Age on this point. He actually has the temerity to refer to the embryos as his “girls” and boldly insists that he wants to save their lives. When the story broke, wannabe celebrities—that is, reporters in the entertainment field—immediately strove to establish their progressive credentials by condemning Loeb’s absurd concern for human life. Lisa Guerrero, of Inside Edition, tweeted: “#NickLoeb is the ultimate jilted, obsessive, controlling ex….” What? Value of human life? Was Nick Loeb nuts? And Kristen Caires, of the prestigious philosophical journal People, tweeted: “Hey #NickLoeb you’re mental.” A column in The New York Post even demanded that Loeb shut up about “Sofia’s eggs” as if the in vitro fertilization had never occurred. None of the celebrity journalists paused to consider how the very existence of the contested human embryos called into question the assumptions at the heart of that other troublesome embryonic issue: • Advocates of the right to abortion obsessively appeal to a woman’s right to...