Bill Muehlenberg

Designer babies means dead babies

Life used to be seen as a gift. Now it is being demanded as a right. Up until recently every new life coming into the world was seen as a wonderful gift and a priceless grace – a cause of great celebration. But in an age of unprecedented selfishness, new biotechnologies, and designer babies, new life is seen as simply another commodity.

Just as we have luxury beyond our dreams, so that we can gut an entirely acceptable home and start over, simply because we want a change of colour scheme, so too now we can treat the greatest miracle of all – a new born baby – as just another lifestyle choice, to be received or rejected at will.

The rise of new technologies in the life sciences has meant that we can now do things which were never dreamed of even just recently. More discerning voices warned all along that the new reproductive technologies could be a real cause of concern, and at best a mixed blessing.

The fears of those who made warnings to proceed with caution are now pretty much being fully realised. We really have created a brave new world, and the greatest casualty has been those produced by it. There are now dozens of ways to artificially create human life, and with that newfound mastery of life has come a newfound contempt of it.

After all, if the manufacture of life is now no different than what we create in a factory assembly line, then both products can be treated with the same disdain and the same cavalier attitude. Both can be seen merely as the works of our own hands, and if the product is not up to scratch, then simply discard it and improve the manufacturing specs.

Thus human life is now on a par with CDs, clothing, and hairstyles. If we are tired of what we have, we can easily trade things in for something better, or simply discard the old and unwanted. We live in a throwaway age, and now human life itself is seen as just another disposable good.

Sick of the old Eagles albums? No probs. Just chuck them out, or trade them in for some Lady GaGa CDs. Unhappy with your bland colour scheme at home? No biggee. Chuck out the wrongly coloured items and redo the place to meet your new tastes.

Fed up watching a perfectly good television set when all your buddies have plasma? Nothing to worry about. Just toss it out with the other hard rubbish, and get what everyone else is having. Tired of waiting to have a daughter? Hey, don’t fret, just try another bout of IVF, and if you get those nasty unwanted boys, simply terminate them.

Am I being way too far out here? Actually, not at all. I am simply reporting what is in today’s headlines. I am simply commenting on current reality. And if this is not bad enough, just wait a few more months. I am sure we will find even more outrageous and immoral activities taking place all in the name of reproductive freedom and choice.

Here is the headline as found in today’s papers: “Couple aborts twin boys for girl”. And here is how the story begins:

A couple so desperate for a baby girl that they terminated twin boys are fighting to choose the sex of their next child. The couple, who have three sons and still grieve for a daughter they lost soon after birth, are going to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to win the right to select sex by IVF treatment.

They say they want the opportunity to have the baby daughter they were tragically denied. An independent panel, known as the Patient Review Panel, recently rejected the couple’s bid to choose the sex of their next child using IVF. They have gone to VCAT in a bid to have that decision overturned.

VCAT recently ruled that it has the power to review the Patient Review Panel decision. It will hear the couple’s case in March. So determined are the couple to have a girl that they recently terminated twin boys conceived through IVF. The couple said it had been a traumatic decision to make but they could not continue to have unlimited numbers of children. If their test case fails, they say they will go to the US to conceive a girl.

The couple, who cannot be identified, conceived their three boys naturally. The woman – in her thirties – says she loves her sons but would do anything to have a daughter. The man said: ‘After what we have been through we are due for a bit of luck. We want to be given the opportunity to have a girl.’ The woman, who is consumed by grief over the daughter who died soon after birth, admits she has become obsessed with having a daughter and it has become vital to her psychological health.”

She is obsessed alright – obsessed to the point where two perfectly healthy baby boys were killed so that she could have her wants fulfilled. Millions of people around the world would so desperately love to have these twin boys, but not this couple.

In their obsession to have what they want, it seems they will let nothing stand in their way of getting it. If perfectly healthy babies have to be killed along the way, then so be it. After all, adult selfish demands are all that count today, and nothing should stand in the way of anyone exercising their ‘choice’.

This is the predominant mindset that is found in all Western cultures today. So in that sense I do not mean to pick on this particular couple. They are simply representative of so many others who have bought the lie that the entire purpose of existence is to have your wants and demands satisfied – instantly, and at any cost.

Thus this story should not be surprising. It is fully to be expected in a culture which has placed selfishness and the immediate gratification of wants as the highest good, and anything which prevents this from occurring as the greatest evil.

This is simply Western culture in the 21st century. And a good argument can be made, as Solzhenitsyn once put it, that all this is happening because we have forgotten God. Indeed, the words of Proverbs 8:36 (God speaking) seems to nicely encapsulate all this: “all who hate me love death”.

A culture of utter and complete selfishness will always be an ugly culture which will be quite unpleasant to live in. And such a culture of necessity will always be a culture of death.

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