Interesting opinion on Fox News.com by Wendy McElroy on how the pace of science may make the abortion debate obsolete. The issue has to do with ectogenesis – ie, the ability to conceive, nurture, and give birth to a baby completely outside the womb. According to McElroy, we’re closer to this reality than we think. At the minimum, viability is key to this discussion.
Science has sped past the current state of debate, and those stuck behind in the rut of discussing Roe v. Wade may find themselves obsolete. Whether or not ectogenesis is ever able to sustain a nine-month human pregnancy, one thing is clear: key issues like viability are being redefined by science. The abortion debate must move into the 21st century. . . .
Now I’m not advocating what has become the default technological maxim: If it can be done it should be done. Think of nuclear energy, for example. Great benefits. Powerful technology. But we rushed into the nuclear era without a clear understanding of the dangerous implications, viz waste byproducts, that would have to be disposed of.
What are the “waste byproducts” and dangerous implications of ectogenesis? More fertilized eggs to toss? Genetic engineering and mail-order, designer babies? Population explosion? These issues will require intense discussion. And soon. Science waits for no man…or woman…or fetus.
Yet, while there are inherent dangers to scientific advancement, maybe a positive result will be the end of abortion.
But the extent of the problem may well be diminished by science, by new reproductive technologies that sustain the viability of fetuses removed from women who do not wish to become mothers. Like heart transplants or intrauterine operations to correct birth defects, ectogenesis may taken for granted some day. The most optimistic scenario is that a not-too-future generation will look back on abortion as a barbaric procedure, and learn the terms ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life’ from a history text.
Reflecting on Proverbs 24:10-12