In response to a judicial ruling last summer denying Ruby Torres the right to bring her frozen in vitro embryos to birth, Arizona lawmakers today gave final passage to SB 1393, making it clear that public policy favors bringing the in vitro embryos to birth.
The Arizona House of Representatives passed SB 1393 by a vote of 33-25-2, making sure that courts in a divorce dispute will award in vitro embryos to the spouse that wants them for the purpose of having children. The bill now goes to Governor Ducey for his consideration.
In 2014, before undergoing treatment for cancer, Ruby Torres and her fiancée agreed to complete in vitro fertilization so that they could have children in the future. They created frozen embryos. Ruby underwent cancer treatment, and her cancer went into remission. However, their marriage ended in a divorce, leaving a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to decide how to award their embryos. Ruby wanted the embryos because they were likely her only chance to have biological children. Her husband did not want Ruby to be awarded the embryos The Superior Court judge noted that Arizona law is silent on the matter, and ordered the embryos to be donated to a fertility bank or another couple.
SB 1393 ensures that spouses in Ruby’s position will be awarded the embryos and will not be at risk of losing them to a third party.
I thank the House and the Senate majorities for their bold actions in protecting parental rights.