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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:42 PM

Could technology make the abortion debate moot?

I found an interesting article on IEET today via Slashdot that may have some interesting implications for the whole "pro-life" vs. "pro-choice" debate. A Cornell University researcher recently managed to successfully create artificial endometrial tissue. She didn't just stop there though...the researcher went on to create an artificial uterus, and then SUCCESSFULLY introduced a mouse embryo into the lining, where it implanted and developed normally.

http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/pelletier20121113

Yep, you read that right. Science has now created a functional artificial uterus.

The article raises a number of questions about the potential impacts this sort of technology could have on society, but the article itself directly raises one very fascinating question: Might it actually be possible to please BOTH sides in the abortion fight? All women must have the right to terminate their pregnancies, but the current process, which involves the destruction of the embryo or fetus, is used simply because it's the only current medical option.

If it were possible to remove fetuses on demand (preserving a womans right to choose) while simultaneously keeping the fetus alive through reimplantation in an artificial uterus (preserving the "life" of the fetus), would you support that kind of technology? Do you believe that technology to preserve BOTH the rights of the woman AND the "life" of the fetus should be used (or even required) if available? Or do you believe that the right to choose includes the right to terminate the fetus, even if it's not required?

And lest you write this off as sci-fi nonsense: The current prediction is that this technology will be ready to start pumping out fully developed mammals within the decade, and human babies by 2030, a mere 17 years from now. This is real technology that people are working on perfecting at this very minute.
9 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
I believe that the right to choose includes the right to terminate the fetus, without limitation.
8 (89%)
I believe that artificial uteruses should be encouraged for women who seek abortions, but shouldn't be required.
0 (0%)
I believe that artificial uteruses should be required for women who terminate, to preserve both the Right to Choose and the "Right to Life"
0 (0%)
I think this is a terrible technology that shouldn't be encouraged for anybody.
0 (0%)
Artificial uteruses? WTF? Seriously? Who thinks of these things? Didn't they read Brave New World?
0 (0%)
Other
0 (0%)
It's something to think about, but I'm not ready to call it one way or the other yet.
1 (11%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:48 PM

1. Who raises these collective "nest babies" growing in detached uterii?

I mean, if their birth mothers don't want them, yet they're preserved and grow into human beings ... who raises them? What "families" do they have?, etc...

Like most dislocations caused by new technology, this will bring up a host of new questions, and plenty society won't really be ready for.

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:51 PM

2. It will make zero difference to me.

 

What bothers me are the unwanted children born and raised in horrific conditions. Unless scientists can come up with a raybeam to the brain that will stop people from abusing children then it doesn't matter.

The world is over populated and a lot of it is by people who shouldn't be having children and take their problems out on their kids. Most people who oppose abortion are the least likely to adopt and love an unwanted child as their own (which by the way I have done).

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:51 PM

3. Does the fetus get the love of some "artificial parents?"




--imm

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:53 PM

4. What happens to all these babies?

Whose responsibility are they? Who pays for their welfare? There won't be enough adoptive parents to take them all in. And I don't think people understand the emotional issue of having a baby out there in the world growing up but not knowing if the baby is in a good environment or in distress. If you don't believe abortion destroys something with a soul (which I don't) but just ends something that could have at some point become a baby, then abortion is a better choice than creating a child but not knowing if there would ever be a happy home for that child.

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:53 PM

5. Will the child be able to demand support?

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Response to drm604 (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:02 PM

7. Make the scientists support them until they turn 18.

 

That will put an end to this.

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 04:54 PM

6. Would this be presented as an actual choice?

I'm guessing that a lot of planned pregnancies would wind up in the artificial womb.

Meanwhile, who would be responsible for the baby that results when a woman has an "abortion" this way? Is it still her child? Is she going to be stuck with raising it? In that case, all you've done is removed the 9 months of pregnancy and the giving birth part.

How about handing the infant over to the father, whoever he is?

One real huge enormous gigantic aspect of abortion and a woman's right to control her body and her destiny, is that men, the ones who get women pregnant, are almost totally off the hook. THEY don't get pregnant. THEY don't get to spend nine months incubating the fetus. THEY don't get the joys of childbirth. And yet THEY think they can tell us women what to do.

And yes, the right to choose includes the right to terminate the fetus.

Can't you just see if this actually comes about, it will be hailed as the solution to the abortion problem? I can see it now. A woman is raped. She gets pregnant. She elects this technology. Then she gets a huge bill for the gestation and birth of this unwanted baby.

No, thank you. I sincerely hope this turns out to be more difficult than they think.

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:08 PM

8. Other: available if people want it, but not "encouraged"

I dont look at reproductive freedom and choice as a "problem" to be "Solved".

I look at the entitlement mentality of folks all over the political spectrum which makes them believe they have a right to be all up in other peoples' shit (whether that be via laws, or just "enouragement") as the "problem".

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:34 PM

9. The far right believes a zygote is a human but a born child is a Welfare cheat.

 

Until they get their stories worked out, I give them no credit on the "right to life" thing.

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:37 PM

10. Not until the machine overlords start breeding us.

I'll go with 2035 for the over/under.

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:44 PM

11. Anybody else think we should devote resources to making better birth control options instead?

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Response to Xithras (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 05:51 PM

12. Don't we have more important things to do?



Seriously, I don't think it's worth all this effort. That money could be directed towards NICU care, which could help save *wanted* fetuses who are born prematurely due to an illness or other problems.

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