The Arizona Supreme Court barred a woman from using her preserved fertilized embryos without her ex-husband’s consent and ruled that she must donate them instead, The Arizona Republic reports. Ruby Torres had her eggs frozen in 2014 following a breast cancer diagnosis after her oncologist told her that she probably wouldn’t be able to have children after undergoing chemotherapy. Torres’ then-boyfriend, John Terrell, agreed to serve as the sperm donor and the pair signed a fertility clinic agreement that said a pregnancy could not be made unless the couple both agreed. Torres and Terrell married, but split up three years later.
During divorce proceedings, Terrell asked the court to stop Torres from using the embryos and the court agreed. The case was appealed and a higher court ultimately sided with Torres, but the supreme court reversed the decision. “We are cognizant of the unavoidable emotional fall-out attendant to the disposition of the embryos here,” Vice Chief Justice Ann Timmer wrote in the court’s opinion. Torres’ lawyer said the Thursday decision was “disappointing” because they had the the appeals court on their side. “We didn’t expect this (outcome),” the attorney said. It’s unclear if Torres will be appealing the case to a higher court.