The Embryo Crusader

By Azeen Ghorayshi, May 7, 2016, BuzzFeed News

It’s a bright morning in March, and Jalesia McQueen is driving her white SUV, piled with lawn signs from her most recent failed political campaign, to the Missouri State Capitol. She’s going to testify in favor of a bill she helped write that’s making women across the country furious.

She juts her face toward me and blinks exaggeratedly. “Like my fake eyelashes?” she asks. “It’s all glue!”

I point out that we’re running a little late. “Oh, I’ll get us there on time,” she laughs, noting that she’s done the drive enough times in the last few months to go with her eyes closed. She’s convincing. She slams a little harder on the gas, making the white rosary beads under the rearview mirror swing.

McQueen (who goes by her childhood nickname, Jasha — or “hah-shuh”) is a 44-year-old immigration lawyer who runs a practice out of her home in the quiet outskirts of St. Louis. But she has little time to take clients these days. For the past six years, she’s been immersed in an increasingly public legal fight over frozen embryos.

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