Virginia Judge Rules Embryos Are Property, ‘Chattel’ Using Slavery Law

Virginia Judge Rules Embryos Are Property, ‘Chattel’ Using Slavery Law

A Virginia judge ruled last month that frozen embryos can be considered property, a decision based in-part on a 19th century slavery law, according to a new report. 

The ruling was part of a dispute between a divorced couple who both hope to gain control over two frozen embryos, which were created by Honeyhline Heidemann and Jason Heidemann during their marriage, the Associated Press reported this week. 

“Upon independent research, this court was unable to find any Virginia law prohibiting the purchase or sale of human embryo, nor has either party cited a federal law prohibiting the activity,” Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Richard Gardiner wrote in a ruling related to the battle over the embryos. “As there is no prohibition on the sale of human embryos,

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