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In the News: Artificial Womb?

by  Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

The headlines sound like they are straight out of a science-fiction novel. “Scientists have developed an artificial womb that permits embryos to grow outside the body.” Reporters go on to predict: “Within a generation, there will probably be mass use of artificial wombs to grow babies.” Researchers at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College recently announced that, for the first time, they had succeeded in creating an artificial womb lining. Using cells taken from the uterus, along with a cocktail of drugs and hormones, researchers constructed a lab-made womb. They then took “left-over” embryos from in vitro fertilization procedures and placed them into the laboratory-engineered tissue. The embryos reportedly attached to the walls of this prototype womb and began to settle there.

This new procedure is being touted as a definite “technological advance” for couples that are unable to have children. Consider the possibilities—pregnancy without morning sickness, weight gain, stretch marks, or labor pains. It appears as though man finally intends to overcome the punishment that God handed down to Eve when she disobeyed Him and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. On that sad occasion, Jehovah said: “I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception” (Genesis 3:16).

In our haste to assert that we are superior, humans have forgotten that God designed gestation for a reason. For instance, we know that a growing fetus responds not only to a mother’s gentle heartbeat, but also to her emotions, moods, and movements. So what kind of child will result as the product of a cold, sterile, laboratory environment?

Think of the potential implications of this new technology. Homosexual “couples” (to pick just one example) could “grow” their own children (using donor eggs) in a laboratory environment. [Lesbian “couples” could accomplish the same thing, using donor sperm.]

Most people likely would say, “Why worry? These scenarios will not be a problem for decades.” Five years ago, we said exactly the same thing about human cloning and stem-cell research, remember?




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