Archive

Assisted Reproductive Technologies
\"\" Brian Clowes, PhD, Director of Human Life International Research and Training

\"\"

Reported at the 18th Asia-Pacific Congress of faith, family and life
(September 16–18, 2011, Astana, Kazakhstan)



NOTE:

The information in this presentation is described in much greater detail in Human Life International’s Pro-Life Library Compact Disc.

PowerPoint presentation for this report is available here (20Mb).

Topics Covered

  1. Causes of Infertility
  2. Assisted Reproductive Techniques
  3. Prenatal Genetic Diagnoses (PGDs)
  4. Morality of ARTs
  5. The Transhumanist/Re-Creationist Movement

 

Causes of Infertility

Infertility ― Definitions

  • Infertility ― Couples who cannot conceive a child within one year of trying.
  • Subfertility ― Couples who can conceive a child, but it takes longer than one year to be successful.
  • In the “developed” countries, one in six couples face significant problems with infertility, subfertility or with giving birth.

Causes of Female Fertility Problems

  1. Extended exposure to hormones (rarely mentioned in the literature!);
  2. Environmental ― Diet, stress and weight;
  3. Endometriosis ― a nonmalignant disorder in which functioning endometrial tissue is present outside the uterus. The incidence of this disease ranges from 10-15% in women between the ages of 25 and 44 who are actively menstruating, but it also occurs in teenagers. It is estimated that 25-50% of infertile women have this disease. Symptoms include Pelvic pain and cramping before and during periods, pain during intercourse, Inability to conceive, fatigue, painful urination during periods and gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. Endometriosis contributes to infertility by scarring and causing adhesions that form in the reproductive tract as a result of inflammation. Scar tissue and adhesions may reduce fertility by either obstructing or distorting the shape of the fallopian tubes, which in turn impedes the passage of sperm to the egg. Finally, scarring from endometriosis may obstruct the fallopian tubes so that if an egg is fertilized, it may be unable to travel to the uterus for implantation;
  4. Pituitary or ovarian tumors;
  5. Blocked Fallopian tubes (infection, often caused by induced abortion, PID, STDs or IUD);
  6. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) ― also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, also known as hyperandrogenic chronic anovulation ― is a benign disorder that commonly results in female infertility. PCOS is characterized by irregular ovulation and menses, obesity, insulin resistance, acne, hirsutism and Ancthosis Nigrans (darkening of the skin at the nape of the neck and under the arms and breasts). Most women with PCOS also have ovaries filled with multiple benign cysts. Impaired fertility is a prominent feature of PCOS. This is believed to result from elevated insulin levels that stimulate excess androgen production by the ovaries. The androgens cause premature follicular wasting which causes inconsistent or absent ovulation, which is associated with infertility;
  7. Underactive thyroid; and
  8. Erratic ovulation.

Causes of Male Fertility Problems

  1. Malfunctioning prostate;
  2. Hormone imbalance;
  3. Environmental pollutants;
  4. Infections;
  5. Use of illegal drugs;
  6. Deficient apoptosis ― The natural process of programmed cell death (PCD) that may occur in multicellular organisms, as opposed to necrosis, which is a form of traumatic cell death that results from acute cellular injury;
  7. Medical interventions (chemo, antibiotics);
  8. Immune system problems; and
  9. Defective or abnormal sperm.

Is There a “Right” to a Child?

“A true and proper right to a child would be contrary to the child\'s dignity and nature. The child is not an object to which one has a right, nor can he be considered as an object of ownership: rather, a child is a gift, “the supreme gift” and the most gratuitous gift of marriage, and is a living testimony of the mutual giving of his parents. For this reason, the child has the right to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents; and he also has the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception” [Donum Vitae II,8].

Donum Vitae on Infertility

“Spouses who find themselves in this sad situation are called to find in it an opportunity for sharing in a particular way in the Lord\'s Cross. … even when procreation is not possible, conjugal life does not for this reason lose its value. Physical sterility in fact can be for spouses the occasion for other important services to the life of the human person, for example, adoption, various forms of educational work, and assistance to other families and to poor or handicapped children” [Donum Vitae II,8].

2. ART Techniques and Morality

A General History of ARTs

  • 1790 ― First artificial insemination in humans
  • 1934 ― First animal IVF by Gregory Pincus
  • 1944 ― First human IVF by John Rock
  • 1978 ― First IVF baby born, result of abortionist Patrick Steptoe’s efforts with Roberts Edwards
  • Both Pincus and Rock were oral “contraceptive” pioneers

The general teaching of the Catholic Church on assisted reproductive technologies is outlined in Donum Vitae: “These interventions are not to be rejected on the grounds that they are artificial. As such, they bear witness to the possibilities of the art of medicine. But they must be given a moral evaluation in reference to the dignity of the human person, who is called to realize his vocation from God to the gift of love and the gift of life” [Donum Vitae [Introduction, 3]].

Donum Vitae gives us five specific and clear guidelines to safeguard against abuses in the field of ART and to determine which procedures are licit and which are not;

  1. All assisted reproductive procedures should be performed upon married couples only. “Respect for the unity of marriage and for conjugal fidelity demands that the child be conceived in marriage; the bond existing between husband and wife accords the spouses, in an objective and inalienable manner, the exclusive right to become father and mother solely through each other” [Donum Vitae, II, A, 2].
  2. The wife must contribute the egg and the husband must contribute the sperm. No other person must be involved, as this constitutes “technological adultery.” “Recourse to the gametes of a third person, in order to have sperm or ovum available, constitutes a violation of the reciprocal commitment of the spouses and a grave lack in regard to the essential property of marriage which is its unity” [Donum Vitae, II, A, 2].
  3. Masturbation must not be required. “Masturbation, through which the sperm is normally obtained, is another sign of this dissociation: Even when it is done for the purpose of procreation, the act remains deprived of its unitive meaning ...” [Donum Vitae, II, B, 6]. See also the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2352. Note that sperm collection can licitly be accomplished through “home collection,” which consists of the use of a perforated condom during natural intercourse.
  4. Fertilization must take place inside the woman\'s body. “The origin of the human being thus follows from a procreation that is “linked to the union, not only biological but also spiritual, of the parents, made one by the bond of marriage.” Fertilization achieved outside the bodies of the couple remains by this very fact deprived of the meanings and the values which are expressed in the language of the body and in the union of human persons” [Donum Vitae II, B, 4, c].
  5. “Spare” embryos must not be discarded, frozen, or experimented upon, and procedures such as “selective abortion” (pregnancy reduction) must not be used. “... those embryos which are not transferred into the body of the mother and are called “spare” are exposed to an absurd fate, with no possibility of their being offered safe means of survival which can be licitly pursued” [Donum Vitae I, 5].

The oldest, most basic and most widely-used ART (in-vitro fertilization) violates all five of these guidelines.

The oldest mother to give birth as of 2008 is 72-year-old Omkari Panwar of Uttar Pradesh, who had twins in July 2008. This brings to mind a bit of humor;

You\'ve all heard about these assisted reproductive technologies, ones that allow even elderly women to have babies. Aside from the theological and moral implications, there can be practical problems.

Recently, a 65-year-old Italian woman gave birth to a baby, and not long after the little girl was born, one of her friends came to visit her:

“Maria! How wonderful for you! Would you please let me hold your new miracle?”—“Certainly, but not until she cries.”—“Um — why do I have to wait until she cries?”—“Because I can\'t remember where I put her.”

The Basic IVF Process is Accomplished in Five Steps;

  1. Multiple eggs are produced by stimulation of hormones;
  2. These eggs are retrieved from the ovary;
  3. The man masturbates to produce a sperm sample;
  4. The eggs and sperm are mixed in a dish to allow fertilization; and
  5. The “fertilized eggs” (early human beings) are introduced into the uterus.

Maternal Hazards Due to IVF ― Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHS)

  • Overstimulation causes excess abdominal fluid.
  • 5-40 follicles develop due to fertility drugs.
  • Ovaries respond to elevated hormone levels by becoming swollen and painful.
  • Increased risk for torsion of the enlarged ovaries.
  • Causes ascites (an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, the potential space between the parietal peritoneum and visceral peritoneum, that is, the two membranes that separate the organs in the abdominal cavity from the abdominal wall) and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Vascular, respiratory and renal system impacts.
  • Occasionally there are fatal complications.

Maternal Hazards Due to IVF ― Risks Associated with Multiple Pregnancies

  • Several embryos are implanted to ensure pregnancy.
  • Increases mortality and morbidity for the mother and the babies. The usual “solution” proposed ― what is euphemistically called “pregnancy reduction,” with its own risks.
  • Increased incidence of birth defects and early hospitalization.
  • Leads to a number of risks to the health of both mothers and their babies, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, long-term disability, and early death.

Couple’s Hazards Due to IVF ― Psychological

  • When in vitro fertilization treatment is not successful, the couple’s hopes are dashed. They often have unrealistic expectations.
  • Disappointment, feelings of helplessness, loss, guilt, and relationship tension is common.
  • Sadness, anger, and depression is more prevalent in women than it is in men (66% vs. 40% reported).
  • Couples feel cheated after enduring the expensive IVF treatment and having nothing to show for it.

Child’s Hazards Due to IVF

  • Significantly higher VLBW (very low birth weight) among single IVF babies, which leads to further risks.
  • Significantly higher birth defect rate among single and multiple-birth IVF babies.
  • Only 7.5% of embryos initially created are born alive [Bill Saunders. “”Selective Reduction” Abortions Highlight ART Problems.” LifeNews.com, August 24, 2011.
  • Cardiovascular defects: Anotia/microtia, ventricular and atrial septal defects, and tetralogy of Fallot (classically understood to involve four anatomical abnormalities (although only three of them are always present). It is the most common cyanotic heart defect, and the most common cause of blue baby syndrome).
  • Musculoskeletal problems: Upper limb defects, including accessory digits, webbed, fused, or missing digits, lobster claw hand, and phocomelia (stunting) of the upper limb.

Child’s Hazards Due to IVF ― Risks Associated with Multiple Pregnancies

  • Feelings of alienation if resulting children find out that they are the product of donor sperm or egg.
  • Many IVF clinics make their clients sign a contract requiring abortion if the baby is less than perfect.
  • Survivor syndrome in those children who discover that they survived “selective reduction,” or “coin toss abortion.”
  • Of course, the deadliest hazard is the “pregnancy reduction” procedure itself.

“Selective Reduction” or “Enhanced Survival of Multifetal Pregnancies“ (ESMP)

“Using ultra‑sound to locate each fetus, the doctors insert a needle into the chest cavity of the most accessible fetus and place the needle tip directly into the heart of the baby. Potassium chloride is then injected into the heart and the heart is viewed on the ultrasound screen until it stops beating. Even at 9 weeks, 3 of the 12 fetuses selected for elimination presented problems. The heart continued to beat and the procedure had to be repeated” [NEJM, 1988].

The success rate of most ARTs is 7 percent with one embryo transferred, 18 percent with two transferred, and 25-30 percent with 3 or 4 transferred.

The Consumerist Attitude Towards Human Life

“If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it. But we created this child in such an artificial manner — in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me — and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice. The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control” [“Jenny”].

What Price Perfection?

“Doctors who participate in in-vitro fertilization should be present at the birth of all of their babies so that they may terminate the [newborn] baby\'s life should it come out grossly abnormal” [Nobel Prize winner James Watson].

One of the Next Steps in ART Development.

Men can be made irrelevant by the more esoteric ARTs. Scientists at the Reproductive Genetic Institute in Chicago have developed a way for two women to be genetically related to the child, without the involvement of a man.

The procedure involves manipulating one of the women\'s eggs into an \'artificial’ sperm, and using it to fertilize the other egg, making both the women genetically parents of that child.

IVF for Population Control

In-vitro fertilization is a major research tool of population controllers. The International Population Union’s Conference on the Scientific Study of Population has said that

“There are grounds for hoping that the use of IVF embryos for research will lead to the discovery of efficient new methods of population control. This is the real justification for the promotion and funding of IVF by governments and organizations involved in population planning” [The International Population Union’s Conference on the Scientific Study of Population].

Some Other Impermissible Procedures

In addition to in-vitro fertilization, there are a number of other ARTs that are impermissible according to the five criteria set forth by Donum Vitae. These are variations on IVF [Donum Vitae [II.B.5] and Dignitas Personae [17]]:

  • Transvaginal intratubal embryo transfer (TIET);
  • Transvaginal-transmyometrial embryo transfer (TTET);
  • Transvaginal tubal embryo stage transfer (TV‑TEST);
  • Tubal embryo stage transfer (TEST);
  • Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) (These first five procedures involve manipulation of the human embryo, which often involves specific risks that are far beyond those experienced by the embryo after natural fertilization. We do not have the right to cause the embryo to undergo these risks).
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI, a form of micromanipulation, involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg (oocyte) using a glass needle (pipette). This process increases the likelihood of fertilization when there are abnormalities in the number, quality, or function of the sperm. ICSI is generally unsuccessful when used to treat fertilization failures that are primarily due to poor egg quality [http://www.asrm.org/Patients/FactSheets/ICSI-Fact.pdf].
  • Tubal transfer procedures (pronuclear- stage transfer (16-20 hours after insemination) and tubal embryo transfer (~48 hours after insemination); and
  • Surrogate motherhood.

At this Rate, It Will Soon Take a Village to Conceive a Child!

DS (donor sperm): 2 fathers and 1 mother

DO (donor ovum): 2 mothers and 1 father

DE (donor embryo): 2 fathers and 2 mothers

SET (surrogate embryo transfer):

1 father and 2 mothers; or

2 fathers and 2 mothers; or

2 fathers and 3 mothers

Parthenogenesis: 1 mother and no father.

This Calls for a Little More Humor.

The little girl perched in Mommy\'s lap while looking at family pictures in a photo album.
“Mommy, who are all these people in this picture?”—“Well, Susan, here is your mommy, here is your other mommy, here is your surrogate mommy, here is your egg donor mommy, here is your daddy, here is your daddy\'s clone, here is your sperm donor daddy, and here is your daddy\'s life partner.”—“Who\'s that worried looking lady over in the corner?”—“That\'s our family genealogist.”

Surrogate Motherhood (donor womb)

Surrogate motherhood is a kind of high-tech “reproductive prostitution:”

  • The woman sells or rents her body or body parts;
  • The relationship to the “customer” is entirely impersonal;
  • She must do what she is told and leave when she is told;
  • Her value or usefulness comes solely from her function; and
  • The “pimp” [i.e., the doctor], gets most of the money. After all, this is a business.

Donum Vitae on Surrogate Motherhood

Donum Vitae describes the teaching of the Church on surrogate motherhood: “… it is contrary to the unity of marriage and to the dignity of the procreation of the human person. Surrogate motherhood represents an objective failure to meet the obligations of maternal love, of conjugal fidelity and of responsible motherhood; it offends the dignity and the right of the child to be conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up by his own parents; it sets up, to the detriment of families, a division between the physical, psychological and moral elements which constitute those families” [II,A,3].

The Media Gets it Right on Surrogate Motherhood

Very occasionally, the “mainstream” media gets it right on the social issues. Regarding surrogate motherhood, the Wall Street Journal opined that “If surrogacy ever becomes a widely practiced market transaction, it will probably make pregnancy into just another dirty task for the working class, with wages driven down and wealthy couples hiring the work out because it\'s such a hassle to be pregnant.”

Summary ― Three Basic Principles

In summary, there are three basic moral principles that should be applied to each ART to determine its liciteness

  1. Evil may never be committed in order to achieve a good end.
  2. A method of assisted reproduction is acceptable only if it serves as a means to facilitate or help the act of intercourse in attaining fertilization. It is not acceptable if it substitutes for the sexual act itself.
  3. The Church teaches that homologous procedures may be permissible, but heterologous procedures, which involve the third-party donation of either sperm or ovum, are never morally permitted.

Why?

a) The husband and wife have a reciprocal right to become parents only through each other;

b) Using sperm or ovum from a third party disregards the couple’s commitment to unity within their marriage;

c) Children have the right to know and be raised by their biological parents; and

d) Heterologous procedures can cause familial conflict, especially when children discover that their father or mother is not their biological parent [Dignitas Personae [12] and Donum Vitae [II.7]].

Morally Acceptable ARTs

  • Start off charting cycles with NFP!
  • Micro-surgery (70%-80% successful).
  • Gamete (either sperm or sperm+egg) intra-fallopian transfer (SIFT and GIFT, no definitive ruling by the Church).
  • Low tube ovum transfer (LTOT). Relocation of an egg past the damaged portion of the fallopian tube so that fertilization occurs naturally.
  • Fallopian tube sperm perfusion (FSP)
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
  • Pronuclear stage tubal transfer (PROST)
  • Sub-zonal insemination (SUZI)
  • Tubo-ovarian transplantation (TOT)
  • Vaginal intratubal insemination (VITI)
  • Zona pellucida drilling and cutting (the zona pellucida is a glycoprotein membrane surrounding the plasma membrane of an oocyte).

Persistent Legal Problems with IVF

IVF practice has been persistently prey to all kinds of problems. It has been riddled with corruption, crime and lack of oversight from the very beginning, including cases of;

  • Use of embryos without consent;
  • Inadequate informed consent;
  • Conflicts regarding control over stored gametes and embryos;
  • Failure to routinely screen donors for disease;
  • Doctors inseminating their patients; and
  • Thievery and embezzlement.

 

(3) The Transhumanism/Re-Creationism Movement

Now we move on to the ultimate fruition of the science of illicit ARTs: The transhumanism movement, or, as I prefer to call them, the re-creationists. This appears to be science fiction or the drug-addled dreams of raving lunatics at first, but it is a deadly serious threat, and probably represents the last stage of the battle between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death.

Gandhi\'s “Seven Deadly Sins”

Mahatma Gandhi’s “Seven Deadly Sins” are as follows. We will see that the transhumanists take #5 in a quite literal manner:

  1. Wealth without work;
  2. Pleasure without conscience;
  3. Knowledge without character;
  4. Commerce without morality;
  5. Science without humanity;
  6. Religion without sacrifice;
  7. Politics without principle.

Albert Einstein feared the unfettered development of atomic science, and his words could just as precisely fit the threat offered by transhumanism. He said that “The development of technology and the development of contemporary civilization which is marked by the ascendancy of technology, demand a proportional development of morals and ethics. For the present, this last development seems unfortunately to be always left behind.”

The attitude of many bioethicists and scientists comes to fruition in this movement: “If it can be done, it must be done, and damn the consequences!”

The great hazard of transhumanism is that it rejects the nature of our humanity and its inherent limitations. As it rejects the nature of man, it also rejects human dignity and reduces people to little more than technological artifacts.

Bioethicist Paul Ramsay has said that “[Scientists] have the right to exercise their professional activities to the limit as lay attitudes struggle to catch up with what scientists can do.”

Transhumanist Incrementalism

As with all other anti-life practices (“gay” rights, abortion, euthanasia, divorce, contraception, pornography, etc.), the activists begin their revolution slowly, asking for just a little bit more than public will bear. Once the public gets used to the first stage of their demands, they move on and repeat the process. “Incrementalism” means making “progress” with a number of small unthreatening steps, rather than going for everything at once.

Transhumanist incrementalism looks like this;

  1. I want a baby (completed through various ARTs).
  2. I want a healthy baby (negative eugenics) (completed through prenatal genetic diagnoses).
  3. I want a boy/girl (completed through sex selection abortion).
  4. I want a perfect baby (no imperfections) (objective currently under research).
  5. I want a baby just like me (cloning) (objective currently under research).
  6. I want a super baby made to order ― high intelligence, athletic and artistic ability, etc. (positive eugenics, transhumanism).

The Paramount Principle of Transhumanism: Eugenics

Transhumanism is the ultimate expression of positive and negative eugenics, or self-directed evolution, which has been debated for millennia:

“If we are to keep our [human] flock at the highest pitch of excellence, there should be as many unions of the best of both sexes, and as few of the inferior as possible, and ... only the offspring of the better unions should be kept ...” [Plato, Republic, c. 380 B.C.].

Its foundation will be the widespread and ultimately mandatory use of implementation of artificial reproductive technologies.

The Transhumanist View of Man

The transhumanist view of man is as depressing as it is frightening. Leading transhumanist Nick Bostrom has said that “Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution. Transhumanists hope that by responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman, beings with vastly greater capacities than present human beings have.”

Transhumanists label those who disagree with their philosophy just as aggressively as earlier adherents to the Culture of Death, calling us, of all things, “fleshists,” people who cling to our flawed physical and mental human condition irrationally.

The Christian View of Man

The transhumanist view of man contrasts violently with the Christian view of man. St. Paul wrote in his Letter to the Hebrews that “What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him? Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet” [Hebrews 2:6-8].

There is a poster that shows the usual evolutionary progression we are all familiar with, with one twist: The last character in the progression is a robot. The poster reads “TRANSHUMANISM: It’s inevitable.”

Some argue that the transhumanist revolution is already here, brought about by artificial hearts, limbs, vaccinations, and even the growth of human parts on animals. However, they cannot discern the difference between these scientific and medical advances, which are meant to remedy sickness and bodily malfunction, from those truly transhumanist goals which seek to “improve” upon the perfectly healthy human body.

Beware the “Transhumanist Trap!”

  • Therapy: To replace an amputated limb with a prosthetic limb in order to restore a lost function.
  • Enhancement: To deliberately amputate a healthy limb and replace it with an artificial limb that is much stronger than the original
  • The technology may be the same, but the intent is different. Transhumanists will try to confuse the issue, saying that those who oppose transhumanism also oppose the use of technology as therapy. Therapy is not “transhumanism” just because it uses technology!

One of the more popular transhumanist fantasies is the achievement of what they call “Utopia” by the year 2045. The mainstream media has picked up on this theme. The lead story on the cover of the February 28, 2011 issue of Time Magazine was entitled “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal.”

This desire is grossly disordered, not only from a religious point of view, but from the standpoint of science as well.

After living on this earth for 70 or eighty years, what sane individual would want to deny himself the beatific vision of Jesus Christ for even one more second? From a secular point of view, how could the Earth handle the instant population explosion caused by everyone living for two centuries or more?

The answer, of course, is that, as always, only the relatively rich and privileged would be given the opportunity to extend their life spans significantly.

What is the Overall Goal of This Transhumanist Movement?

French biologist Dr. Jean Rostand has said that “Here and now Homo Sapiens is in the process of becoming Homo Biologicus, a strange biped that will combine the properties of self‑reproduction without males, like the green fly; of fertilizing his female at long distance, like the nautiloid mollusk; of changing sex, like the xiphores; of growing from cuttings, like the earthworm; of replacing his missing parts, like the newt; of developing outside his mother\'s body, like the kangaroo; and of hibernating, like the hedgehog.”

The Short-Term Goals of Transhumanism/Re-Creationism:

  • Extension of the human life span;
  • Enhancement of mental and physical human abilities (positive eugenics);
  • Extracorporeal gestation (EG); and, of course,
  • The elimination of birth defects, first by eliminating the afflicted, then by genetic engineering. Regarding Down Syndrome, we are already far down this road. More than 90 percent of preborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.

Transhumanism is already seeping into the standard practice of ARTs.

An advertisement in the April 17, 2009 issue of The Tech, the student newspaper of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), read:

“Genius Asian egg donor needed to help us build our family. $35,000 compensation. See http://www.eggdonorneeded.com or email william@eggdonorneeded.com for more information. We are not an agency ― we are the family seeking your help. Please help us.”

Prenatal Genetic Diagnoses (PGDs)

One of the foundational tools of transhumanist negative eugenics is, and always will be, the intimidating arsenal of prenatal genetic diagnoses (PGDs) that are available. After looking at the gamut many preborn children must run, we are surprised that anyone is born at all.

These prenatal genetic diagnoses include:

First Trimester

  • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
  • General First-Trimester Screen

Second Trimester

  • Amniocentesis
  • Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS)
  • Maternal Serum Alpha-Fetoprotein Screening
  • Triple Screen and Quad Screen

Third Trimester

  • Biophysical Profile
  • Fetal Non-Stress Test (NST)
  • Glucose Challenge Screening & Tolerance Test
  • Group B Strep Infection (GBS)

The slippery slope presented by PGDs was highlighted by Human Genome Project commentators Bishop and Waldholz, who said that

“As prenatal genetic diagnosis becomes simpler and easier, the temptation will arise to use it for less severe genetic aberrations. It appears highly likely that young couples, possibly those in the next generation, will be able to make choices about the genetic traits of their children that would astonish today\'s generation.

As the genetic secrets of stature are uncovered, for example, couples would be able, if they desired, to select the height of their children within certain limits. As the gene mapping proceeds, other traits affecting intelligence, athletic or musical ability, even personality could become matters of parental choice.

There are Three Eugenics Principles

Throughout the past two hundred years, scientists and writers have referred to the two main branches of eugenics. Recently, we have added a third branch of human-directed evolution:

  1. Positive Eugenics: Ensuring that “superior” people and races “breed” with each other;
  2. Negative Eugenics: Ensuring that “inferior” people and races do not perpetuate their kind, through contraception, sterilization and abortion; and
  3. Reverse Eugenics: Deliberately ensuring that certain birth defects are perpetuated.

Lesbians Sharon Duchesneau and Candace McCullogh of the United States are both deaf. They decided they wanted their children to be deaf too, so they got a family friend who has five generations of deafness in his family to donate sperm. Fertility clinics did not get involved because a deaf man would not be suitable as a donor.

They had a daughter Johanne and a son Gauvin, who are both profoundly deaf. They defended their actions, saying that they wanted the children to be part of their “deaf culture.”

This is perhaps the most extreme example of the commodification of a child that we have yet seen. The “mothers” apparently could not care less that their children will be severely handicapped in the real world. All that mattered is that the babies were made to their specifications.

The Newborn Stem Cell Horror

The pursuit of extended life is certainly not restricted to better diet, exercise and vitamins, as well as the use of fetal stem cells; we have already “progressed” far beyond this stage.

Two Ukrainian medical doctors, Vadym Lazaryev and Vladymyr Ischenko, uncovered a trade in newborn and fetal organs for the cosmetics and beauty industries in the poor cities of Ukraine. At least two hundred newborn babies were stolen from their mothers, murdered, and ransacked for their organs.

These organs were then frozen and transported to several different facilities, including the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM) in the highlands of Barbados, founded by Yuri Baltaytis, a Ukrainian proctologist. There, rich European and North American women, knowing full well where the organs were coming from, would have the liquified organs injected into their bodies.

When the two doctors exposed this practice, the Ukrainian government tried to murder them, and they fled to County Kerry in Ireland, where Brian Clowes did extensive media interviews with them, leading to a BBC special on the practice called “The Stem Cell Swindle.”

Brian and Kathy Clowes visited the Institute for Regenerative Medicine in 2005 posing as rich American tourists, and were given the grand tour. They were told that, for $25,000, any disease (including cancer and AIDS) could be cured by the injections.

After making millions, the IRM finally shut down in 2006, and its personnel are operating elsewhere. There are at least seven such facilities operating all over the world [for a compact disc on the interviews and hundreds of media articles on this atrocity, including the BBC special, contact Brian Clowes at bclowes@hli.org].

The Long-Term Goals of Transhumanism/Re-Creationism:

  • A sliding scale rights system;
  • Lab-generated human life only;
  • State-sponsored baby hatcheries;
  • Replacement of natural limbs with prosthetics;
  • Para-humans or chimeras (human-animal hybrids) and cyborgs (human-machine hybrids);
  • Elimination of human individuality and sex;
  • A “biotopia,” or perfect world, where all creatures live together in harmony;
  • Group mind, or “singularity;” and, finally,
  • The literal displacement/replacement of God through the conquering of the last enemy, Death.

Important Concept: Gender Subversion

If humanity can discarded in the future, why can “gender” not be discarded now?

We must stress that there is no such thing as a “sex change operation.” A person cannot change their sex, because every cell in their body can be identified as either male or female. All you can change is “gender,” which is other’s perceptions of you, through surgical mutilation.

But the transhumanists want to go far beyond individual choice, to a “genderless” world. The paper “Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary” says that “Postgenderism is an extrapolation of ways that technology is eroding the biological, psychological and social role of gender, and an argument for why the erosion of binary gender will be liberatory.

Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnology and reproductive technologies.

Postgenderists contend that dyadic gender roles and sexual dimorphisms are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Assisted reproduction will make it possible for individuals of any sex to reproduce in any combinations they choose, with or without “mothers” and “fathers,” and artificial wombs will make biological wombs unnecessary for reproduction.

Greater biological fluidity and psychological androgyny will allow future persons to explore both masculine and feminine aspects of personality. Postgenderists do not call for the end of all gender traits, or universal androgyny, but rather that those traits become a matter of choice.

Bodies and personalities in our postgender future will no longer be constrained and circumscribed by gendered traits, but enriched by their use in the palette of diverse self-expression.”

Cluelessness on the Loose

As with all evils, “postgenderism” goes beyond mere “choice” to a mandate, all in the public good, of course.

Influential columnist Andrew Sullivan wrote that “What if parents committed to gender equity counteracted the effect of testosterone on boys in the womb by complementing it with injections of artificial female hormones? Structural gender difference could be eradicated from the beginning.

Such a policy would lead to “men and women with normal bodies but identical feminine brains,” thinks Matt Ridley.

“War, rape, boxing, car racing, pornography and hamburgers and beer would soon be distant memories. A feminist paradise would have arrived.”

Promotion of Transhumanism by the Elite

As always, the unthinking elite lead the charge into questionable activities:

“It is reasonable to ask whether there will be a family at all. Given the propensity for divorce, the growing number of adults who choose to remain single, the declining popularity of having children and the evaporation of the time families spend together, another way may eventually evolve. It may be quicker and more efficient to dispense with family-based reproduction. Society could then produce its future generations in institutions that might resemble state-sponsored baby hatcheries” [Time Magazine Fall 1992 Special Issue].

“Animals (including humans), will be granted rights based on varying degrees of personhood. ... When African grey parrots, gorillas, and dolphins have the same rights as a human toddler, a transhuman friendly rights system will be in place” [Bioethicist Leon Kass].


“If the greatest good of the greatest number (i.e., the social good) were served by it, it would be justifiable not only to specialize the capacities of people by cloning or by constructive genetic engineering, but also to bio-engineer or bio-design para-humans or ‘modified men’ — as chimeras (part animal) or cyborg-androids (part prostheses).

I would vote for cloning top-grade soldiers and scientists, or for supplying them through other genetic means, if they were needed to offset an elitist or tyrannical power plot by other cloners — a truly science-fiction situation, but imaginable. I suspect I would favor making and using man-machine hybrids rather than genetically designed people for dull, unrewarding or dangerous roles needed nonetheless for the community\'s welfare — perhaps the testing of suspected pollution areas or the investigation of threatening volcanoes or snow-slides. ...

To be men we must be in control. That is the first and the last ethical word. For when there is no choice, there is no possibility of ethical action. Whatever we are compelled to do is a-moral. Rights are nothing but a formal recognition by society of certain human needs, and as needs change with changing conditions, so rights should change too. The right to conceive and bear children has to stop short of knowingly making crippled children — and genetics gives us that knowledge ...

It is human need that validates rights, not the other way around” [Bioethicist Joseph Fletcher].

“If you are really stupid, I would call that a disease. The lower 10 per cent who really have difficulty, even in elementary school, what\'s the cause of it? A lot of people would like to say, \'Well, poverty, things like that.\' It probably isn\'t. So I\'d like to get rid of that, to help the lower 10 per cent. .. People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great” [James Watson, the discoverer of DNA].

Since the beginning of the human race, the great truths have been simple. The foundational equation of society is [man + woman = baby], and this has always worked for us.

But one of the basic characteristics of an anti-life movement is that they try to complicate and confuse things as much as they can in order to intimidate the opposition. Meanwhile, pro-life people try to make the truth clear. This is true with all life issues: Contraception, divorce, abortion, sterilization, population control, euthanasia, homosexuality and especially transhumanism.

For example, this is a chart entitled “Human Tree of Future Human Self through Arts/Science/Technology.” It shows that we are currently at stage “Human 1.0.” We will soon, allegedly, progress to “Human 1.5” and “Human 2.0” and will eventually leave our bodies behind and become “posthuman.” We will “progress” to being super intelligent machines, then beyond “Human 3.0” to a collective intelligence, a “biobrainsphere,” and finally the “noosphere,” a gigantic global consciousness that is immortal and can do anything, including transmute elements.

Well, we can’t fault the transhumanists for the ambitious magnitude of their dreams, at least.

We have no idea what the bioethicists, bioengineers and transhumanists are up to in secret. They publicly air the most absurd ideas, but we can be certain that they are working behind the scenes with illegal and inhumane projects in their attempts to jump-start human evolution.

A few years ago, a small film company produced a hoax entitled “The J2 Project,” which was intended to fool people into believing that Jesus had been cloned from blood cells found on a sandal that was supposedly His [the film is at www.clonejesus.net]. The film featured fake scientists, institutions, and an interview with J2 himself. The short film was just credible enough to worry some very knowledgeable people. And we know that if it were possible to clone Jesus, somebody would probably try it, ignorant of the fact that divinity is not a genetic trait.

The transhumanist movement consists of much more than just a small gaggle of uneducated and uninformed fringe elements.

It represents the next (and perhaps final) frontier in the battle between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death.

We must prepare for this battle now!

Recommended Reading

Assisted Reproduction

  • Donum Vitae (1987)
  • Dignitas Personae (2008)

Human Sexuality in General

  • Humanae Vitae (1968)
  • Familiaris Consortio (1981)
  • Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality (1995)

Culture of Life/Culture of Death

  • Evangelium Vitae (1995)
  • Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1907)

All of these documents (and thousands of others) are on Human Life International’s Pro-Life Library DVD.


Дата публикации: 2011-10-15 01:46:24