July 31, 2023

IVF, Surrogacy, Eugenics, and AI

Are you playing God or helping people?

Infertility is a difficult journey to walk through as a couple. For families wanting to have children and not able to conceive, there are many choices they have to face. Do they adopt? Undergo IVF? Or perhaps surrogacy?

Of these choices, adoption has the fewest ethical dilemmas attached to it. Every child should be with his or her mother and father, but in this broken world, that is not always possible. Adoption is a beautiful solution to a tragic brokenness.

IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is the process of taking an egg and sperm, fertilizing the egg, and then implanting it back in the mother. The biggest problem with that is doctors often fertilize multiple eggs (more than the family wants), and those extraneous babies are then put on ice, left in limbo. It’s as if their lives weren’t worth as much as the other chosen babies. That is wrong.

Surrogacy takes it a step further. Surrogacy takes an egg from one person and a sperm from another person, fertilizes it, then implants that egg in yet another person (or surrogate). The surrogate then carries that baby for nine months, gives birth, and then that baby is given to the people who hired the surrogate.

Surrogacy has all the same bad caveats as IVF — generally, more children are created than are “needed” for implantation. Surrogacy gets more sketchy from here. It divorces the act of carrying a child from conception to birth from the mother. A child in the womb only knows that woman who has carried him, talked to him, sang to him, laughed, and done life for those nine months. Surrogacy treats a mother’s womb like rented space, and then — by design from conception — takes a child from his home, his mother, and puts him in the hands of others. The baby becomes a commodity.

Sadly, surrogacy is generally the option selected by those who don’t really care much about the baby as an individual human soul; they just want to have a baby. There is very little background checking done on people who opt for surrogacy. In one story, a surrogate was carrying twins and found out the client was a single man in his 40s who had never been married and was still living with his parents. The client was not the sort of person who could pass the standards set up for adoption. But there was nothing the surrogate could do.

There are also very few to no rights given to the surrogate. Christian podcaster Allie Beth Stuckey interviewed a surrogate who shared another horror story. Brittaney Pearson was going through her second surrogacy journey for two men, presumably gay. The baby was viable and growing and everything was going smoothly until she received a cancer diagnosis 24 weeks into her pregnancy. The cancer was aggressive and she needed to start treatments as soon as possible. She could have delivered the baby early, and doctors could have done their miraculous work to keep the baby alive. Her clients told her to abort the baby. There was nothing she could do or say. She had no legal rights to intervene with the decision. This child’s life was held cheap because his “dads” weren’t willing to risk having a premature baby who could develop some problems associated with being so premature. That’s not parental love. That is eugenics.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to the eugenics bent that surrogacy already has and exacerbating it. With where we are scientifically, AI can pick out designer embryos with the right hair color, eye color, skin color, and gender. The AI program EMA even detects genetic abnormalities, and from there it decides which children are going to live or die.

David Prentice of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute told The Christian Post: “The AI program is a tool used to pick and choose which embryos are higher quality; this means some human beings are looked at as lower quality, perhaps even discarded as lives not worth living. Previous studies have shown that even embryos judged to be ‘low grade,’ when given the chance for life, have been birthed as normal, healthy babies. Society should not divide human beings into quality control silos but rather should value and nurture every human life.”

If you believe that life starts at conception, when sperm meets egg, then IVF and all of its poisonous offshoots should be deeply criticized and censured as immoral. It is not our place to decide who lives and who dies. Clearly, when we grade tiny humanity with high-quality and low-quality monikers, there is too much divorce from the actual humanity of the baby in the petri dish.

Adoption is a great option. IVF is not so great and can treat little fertilized babies as a number and not a human. Surrogacy is worse. It dehumanizes the surrogate, commoditizes the baby, and is rife with abuse. AI is taking that to an even more tainted and evil level: A computer program chooses who is worthy of life.

The desire for a man and wife to have children and start a family is a good one. Infertility is a sad reality for some families. However, modern technology is taking advantage of people struggling with infertility, treating unborn children like commodities, and perhaps granting parenthood to people who shouldn’t be parents.

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