Artificial wombs could soon be a reality. What will this mean for women?
Wow, where to start with this article?
Ok, my first thought, what a super cool technology. That is the science nerd in me speaking. It is simply amazing that we humans have come up with a way to replicate this most amazing of God’s miracles i.e., pregnancy and childbirth. The science behind this is astounding.
But… all of that being said, should we do it? I think I am going to have to go with NO!
There are just too many moral and ethical questions that this raises and I don’t think we humans will ever have answers for them. A few of those questions are:
- How do we ensure that healthy babies are not eliminated for healthier babies? When you take the mother child bond out of the equation that occurs during pregnancy the process could become very cold and calculated only bringing the best babies all the way through artificial gestation as part of an ROI calculation.
- Who decides what is the best way a mother should have her baby? Women or men? Doctors? Religious leaders? Employers?
- It seems like whomever was paying for the service would have some say in how the process works. At a minimum financial incentives or penalties would be put in place to drive most women to the most economical alternative. I could see the insurance companies trying to avoid the unpredictable costs of traditional childbirth.
- It could become yet another advantage available only to the rich, with traditional pregnancies becoming associated with poverty, or with a particular class or race.
- While pregnancy occurs inside a woman’s body, women have some control over it, at least. But what happens when a fetus can survive entirely outside the body? What happens to a women’s right to choose then? Could a man choose to keep the baby if the woman did not want it?
All things to think about…
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
We are approaching a biotechnological breakthrough. Ectogenesis, the invention of a complete external womb, could completely change the nature of human reproduction. In April this year, researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia announced their development of an artificial womb.