Friday, May 2, 2014

Spirit and Life: Artificial Reproductive Technology: Constructing a Dystopia


Do you think the quest to genetically engineer "perfect" humans is just science fiction?  
If we've learned anything from the rise of the eugenics movement -- and the millions of lives destroyed along the way -- it's that there are some people in this world who will stop at nothing in their attempts to play God and rid the world of "imperfections" among the human race.   

As HLI Fellow Dr. Denise Hunnell points out in her recent article for, the day may soon be upon us when scientific advancements allow for a single person to use his own cells to produce a child with only one biological parent. Dr. Hunnell writes:

Biomedical science has the potential to alleviate great human suffering. However, when it is applied without careful consideration of the consequences it harms far more than it heals. Artificial reproductive technology takes human procreation out of the constraints of natural law and into the realm of human folly.

Please read her article and other updates from HLI below. May God bless you. 

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Shenan J. Boquet
President, Human Life International

Artificial Reproductive Technology: Constructing a Dystopia
by Denise Hunnell, M.D.

Both the 1932 novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and the 1997 science fiction movie "Gattaca" are classified as dystopias because they depict societies riddled with misery, tragedy, and a dehumanizing culture. Both attribute this decline in civilization to manipulations of human genetics and perversions of human reproduction. In Brave New World the traditional family structure has completely disintegrated and children are manufactured in "hatcheries" through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and gestation. In "Gattaca," human beings are "enhanced" through genetic alterations, and those who do not have their DNA modified are seen as second-class citizens.

It is curious that genetically modified humans can be clearly seen as dangerous and undesirable in fiction but are celebrated as great achievements in current biomedical sciences. In the name of progress we are steadily marching forward to separate human procreation from human relationships and make it a laboratory procedure.

The floodgates of artificial reproductive technology were opened in Great Britain on July 25, 1978, with the birth of Louise Brown, the first "test tube" baby. In the ensuing years the use of IVF has fueled the growth of the multi-billion dollar fertility industry. The growing demand for ova to produce children for infertile couples has led to the widespread exploitation of young women as egg donors. Similar exploitation of poor women in countries like India has occurred as couples seek both egg donors to help conceive a child and a surrogate mother to gestate the child. Both women and children are dehumanized as human reproduction is commercialized.

The development of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) pushed artificial reproductive technology to a new level of genetic manipulation. It is no longer sufficient to conceive a child, but that child must now be "defect free." Embryos are conceived through IVF, but before they are implanted in the uterus, their DNA is screened for chromosomal abnormalities. Embryos found to have undesirable genetics are discarded as medical waste with no regard for their humanity. These nascent human beings may be destroyed because they have chromosomal patterns linked to diseases like Down syndrome or Trisomy 18, or they may have the gene linked to familial cancers, or they may just be the wrong sex. Sex-selection abortions and sex-selection of embryos for implantation have led to serious gender imbalances in countries like China and India where sons are highly preferred over daughters...

HLI in Europe

by HLI Staff

Pro-life leaders from around the world will gather this weekend in Rome, Italy for an International Pro-Life Conference organized by LifeSiteNews in partnership with Human Life International, Family Life International New Zealand, and the organizers of the Italian National March for Life. The conference will take place on May 3, the day before Italy's March for Life. Read More...

by Joseph Meaney