Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Tuesday, 10 April 2007 15:42 UK

Ex-partner backs embryo decision

Howard Johnston
Mr Johnston withdrew his consent when the couple broke up

A man whose ex-girlfriend lost her appeal to use frozen embryos fertilised by him has spoken of his feelings.

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

"I hope she is now able to find happiness though other means", Mr Johnston said after the European courts ruled on the case.

"There are options open to her that don't involve me."

Mr Johnston said he was pleased "common sense" and the "legal framework" had been effective.

Natallie Evans
Ms Evans said her appeal was her last chance to have a baby

"It's really a point of principle," he continued. "I want to choose who, with and when I start a family and the process that we were involved in was around us doing that.

"Then the situation changed and with the law as it was, I think it made it quite clear that if you didn't want to consent then you didn't have to, so that was why I have been insistent really.

"I want to be able to chose when I become a parent."

His solicitors added: "He is relieved that these proceedings have now reached a final conclusion.

"He accepts that some people might regard him as heartless.

"Mr Johnston remains clear that he would not now, nor at any point in the future, consent to the use and continued storage of the embryos".

Ms Evans, 35, turned to the European courts after exhausting the UK legal process.

She had said her appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court was her last chance to have a baby.

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