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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Woman 'distraught' over embryos
Natallie Evans
Ms Evans latest appeal represented her last chance
A woman said she felt "distraught" after losing a five-year legal battle to try to become a mother using embryos fertilised using her own eggs.

Natallie Evans, who was left infertile after cancer therapy, said the appeal to European courts was her last chance.

Ms Evans, 35, from Trowbridge, Wilts, and Howard Johnston began IVF treatment in 2001 but he withdrew consent for the embryos to be used after they split up.

The European Chamber of the European Court ruled the UK law was right.

It requires both the man and woman to give consent, and allows either party to withdraw that consent up to the point where the embryos are implanted.

It is very hard for me to accept that the embryos will now be destroyed and I will never become a mother
Natallie Evans

The verdict comes after she exhausted the UK courts and lost the original European Court of Human Rights case last year.

The appeal represented the final time the case could be brought to court.

Ms Evans said: "I am distraught at the court's decision today. It is very hard for me to accept that the embryos will now be destroyed and I will never become a mother.

"Whilst a lot has been said about the rights of Mr Johnston, what I was fighting for was my right to be a mother and the rights of the embryos.

"I would ask Howard to consider whether he could ever permit me to have the children I so dearly long for, and which he was happy to consent to when the procedure took place to create these embryos."

'Re-think'

Asked directly if she would make a last-ditch appeal to Mr Johnston, she added: "I have pleaded with him before and it has not worked, now there is nothing I can say to him any more.

"Last time I pleaded with him and asked him 'please re-think' and he didn't. He said nothing is going to change his mind."

Her solicitor, Muiris Lyons, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, said Ms Evans' "sad loss will remain forever".

And he added: "Natallie has shown great courage and determination throughout this battle. All she has ever asked for is the chance to use her embryos to bring her own child into the world.

"It is a great tragedy that the law prevents her from achieving this simple goal. Her legal fight is now over."

Her father, Jim Evans, added: "She has been very strong and determined to go down every avenue to use the embryos.

"But that has been taken away from her now and she is pretty devastated."




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