Ex-wife who wants frozen embryos testifies in San Francisco court

Carolyn Tyler Image
ByCarolyn Tyler KGO logo
Friday, July 17, 2015
Ex-wife who wants frozen embryos testifies in San Francisco court
The ex-wife in a precedent setting case over her and her ex-husband's frozen embryos testified in a San Francisco court Thursday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The potentially precedent setting California battle between a divorced couple over their frozen embryos continues in a San Francisco court. Earlier this week the ex-husband testified. Now it's the wife's turn.

It was an emotional day in court Thursday as the woman fighting for her embryos broke down crying during her testimony saying her embryos are priceless to her.

The case has captured national attention. Stephen Findley and Mimi Lee were newlyweds in 2010 when she was diagnosed with cancer. They froze embryos and signed a form directing that they would be destroyed if the couple divorced.

They are now exes but in court Thursday the 46-year-old Lee testified, "I want my embryos. I want my babies."

Her ex-husband does not and he wants the agreement enforced and so does UCSF where the five embryos are stored.

In court, the hospital's attorney tried repeatedly to get Lee to say she read and understood the consent forms, but Lee, who is a doctor, says she "glanced at them" and feels like the medical directives she routinely deals with can be broken and changed.

A medical ethicist calls the case unfortunate and believes there may need to be new regulations.

"We think that these new modern technologies have created solutions to our infertility or our desires to have a child, but they also create a lot of problems," said Jennifer Lahl of the Center for Bioethics and Culture.

Testimony continues tomorrow.