It's very disturbing when I read articles written by people who seem to to abhor being human so much that they want to separate birth and death from life itself. Wouldn't they rather just upload consciousnesses to androids, and have done with it? Especially galling seems to be the pesky type of person who would rather conceive naturally, and die when supposed to, rather than when it's expedient for the medics and convenient for the family.
So when I read today of the artificial womb to which all women should be entitled, because pregnancy doesn't half get in the way of 'who you are', I felt slightly queasy. Actually, more than slightly.
Now, if the 'artificial womb' was some kind of incubator for the extremely premature, I'd have sympathy. I might be all for it. But not as a vanity project for people who believe that pregnancy is beneath them, some sort of disease they are better off without.
More Human Than Human
I've read Brave New World, seen Gattaca, and Logan's Run, think Bladerunner is absolutely one of the best movies ever made, and even marvelled at the geometric pregnancy (don't ask) in Farscape, but the thought of anyone being grown to order in a perspex box in faux amniotic fluid just turns me over. And that is the bottom line, artificial wombs make artificial people grown to order. They'll have 'best before' dates as well.
Perhaps there'll be a catalogue, "Yeah, no. 312, please, yeah, that's the caucasian male, green eyes, black hair, IQ 145, and make that to go."
The arguments are always made from the point of view that the foetus is parasitic aggressor, so I was relieved to find this article that challenges the popular view that, as a woman, you're really doing the cells a favour letting them gestate in you. The article concludes:
“Long post postpartum, we mothers continue to carry our children, at least in a sense. Our babies become part of us, just as we are a part of them. The barriers have broken down; the lines are no longer fixed.”Now you won't get that from a menu baby.