AZ lawmakers consider bill that would pick sides in fight over frozen embryos

Posted: Updated:
A bill would require frozen embryos to be given to the spouse who would use them during a divorce, no matter what the contract says. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A bill would require frozen embryos to be given to the spouse who would use them during a divorce, no matter what the contract says. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Ruby Torres knows she'll never have a biological child of her own after a judge decided that seven embryos Torres and her ex-husband had frozen would not be awarded to either one of them. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ruby Torres knows she'll never have a biological child of her own after a judge decided that seven embryos Torres and her ex-husband had frozen would not be awarded to either one of them. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The measure has passed the Senate already. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The measure has passed the Senate already. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Ruby Torres knows she'll never have a biological child of her own after a judge decided that seven embryos Torres and her ex-husband had frozen would not be awarded to either one of them and would be donated.

"It's with me every day because I know there is going to be a child out there," said Torres. "I just will never be able to see him or her, or care for them, or raise them or see them grow up to be an adult. I'll never have that opportunity."

[READ MORE: Bitter divorce highlighted by fight over frozen embryos]

The Phoenix attorney had wanted to use the embryos to conceive a child following her divorce and recovery from cancer.

But the contract Torres and her ex-husband signed required consent from both parties.

Now, state lawmakers are looking to change that.

Senate Bill 1393 would require that frozen embryos be given to the spouse or partner who will use them to conceive a child, regardless of what contract was signed or any objections from the other person.

[MORE: Arizona politics]

Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, thinks the bill would set a bad precedent by over-ruling a perfectly legal contract.

"This is really not a place the Legislature should be inserting itself," said Hobbs. "There are so many unanticipated consequences of this bill. It's not necessary."

Torres is hoping the bill passes so other potential parents won't suffer a similar fate. 

"It may not help me, it may not change the facts for me, but in the future, it could help others and could change their life, and give them an opportunity that was taken from me," said Torres.

Also included in SB1393 is a provision that the person who isn't awarded the frozen embryos will not have to pay any child support.

The bill has passed the Senate.

A hearing will be held in the Arizona House of Representatives on March 7.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio