The merits of the artificial womb

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Remember those Warner Brothers cartoons that showed the baby being delivered to eager parents by the stork? We used to laugh at such “far-fetched nonsense” as the figments of people's wild imaginations. However, the concept may not be so far-fetched after all.

In our time, the evolution of science and morality has been advancing at rates that would be inconceivable only a few decades ago. What was seen as science-fiction is rapidly becoming science-fact.

Take the development of the artificial womb – yes, artificial. Even though scientists in the developed world have only managed to create such technology for animals in any useful way, the artificial womb, it seems, will be a standard option in the future. It would also be a door-opener for many.

Perhaps at the top of the list of beneficiaries, would be women, who, for one reason or another, are unable (or unwilling) to carry a baby to full term. These women could use artificial wombs to enable their babies to develop.

Some women, while not too adverse to the idea of being pregnant, may be scared of the pain of childbirth. The artificial womb of the future would give these women a real alternative. Some women, for whatever reason, may also not like the idea of intercourse too. These women could then have their eggs completely fertilised in the artificial womb of the near future.

The benefits of the artificial womb should not only apply to women. After all, we now live in modern times. Same-sex couples could also make use of a donated egg or sperm and have the baby that they want, without having any need for a surrogate mother.

Many countries do have well-developed sperm-banking sectors. The artificial womb of the future will no doubt help to strengthen such sectors and, in fact, may even help to create well-developed, egg-banking sectors as well.

We have become very well accustomed to the test-tube baby phenomenon, very soon people will become just as accustomed to the artificial womb baby phenomenon too.

To many, the rapid advance of science and morality continues to give humans great hope for the future. The artificial womb is one such plus.

Michael A Dingwall

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