October 21, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

Mock Trial: Murder Trials, New Captains, and Autonomous Vehicle Accidents -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS Starts the Year Cellphone Free -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS’ Boomwhacker Club -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Questioning the Ethics of Unconventional Childbearing -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Don’t Blame Video Games -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why Disney Won’t Stop Remaking Movies -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Versatility of Virtual Reality -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pondering Yondr -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mr. Shea: The Meme King -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

#AHistoryofBadBoycotts -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Increased Regulation is Necessary for Homeschooling -

Thursday, August 29, 2019

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Questioning the Ethics of Unconventional Childbearing

As technology has taken over so much of modern society, it has also taken over the way humans come into the world. What was once a natural process is now a highly clinical one. While innovations in the ways children are conceived and born seem to be great alternatives for couples who struggle with infertility or are otherwise unable to conceive naturally, these innovations have created a series of ethical issues.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is a process where an egg is fertilized outside of the body. Eggs are extracted from the mother and sperm from the father, which are combined to complete the process of fertilization, or conception. These embryos are then transferred to the mother in the hopes that they implant in her uterus and she becomes pregnant. “IVF doesn’t need to be the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg,” notes Mr. Olney, one of the Biotech teachers at SMHS. This means that couples can get either an egg or sperm donation, or both depending on their preference. This expensive process takes at least three weeks. 

Because the process of IVF is so taxing emotionally and financially, couples usually transfer multiple embryos to increase the chance that one will survive. In cases where all of the transferred embryos implant, many couples choose to have selective reductions done so that they have the number of children they want, no more, no less. Embryos that weren’t implanted are often discarded. To throw away humans in their earliest stage is akin to playing god. By taking fertilization out of its natural environment gives humans too much power and has the potential for great abuse.

Additionally, IVF allows parents to choose their children based on favorable characteristics, usually by sex and ability. This perpetuates the idea that children are only valuable or lovable when they are completely normal and healthy, setting a dangerous precedent. Throughout human history, this same idea has existed in many forms, both in relation to children and in other areas. The difference is that this is happening somewhere smaller and harder to see; however, the size does not change the fact that identical ideas to those that allowed for entire sections of the population to be excluded from much of civic life and denied basic rights are still in use today inside IVF clinics.

Even when taking the created embryos out of the picture, IVF poses harm to the couples who use it. There are several documented cases where the wrong embryos were implanted and so the couple went through the physically and emotionally draining process of IVF only to end up with a child they had no biological connection or legal claim to. Mix-ups such as these cause great psychological distress to the affected parties and often lead to lawsuits to determine custody. IVF poses more harm than good to all involved and is too fundamentally flawed to be a respectable practice. 

Another way couples can choose to have children is to go through a surrogate. In California, both commercial and altruistic surrogacy are legal, as well as both gestational and traditional surrogacy. This means that couples can pay another woman to carry their child if they so choose. They can also have the child be entirely biological theirs or have the surrogate be the biological mother. Gestational surrogacy requires IVF and therefore is open to some of the same problems as referenced above. Traditional surrogacy involves only artificial insemination, but there are still problems with this method. 

Involving payment in surrogacy allows for poorer women to be forced into the practice as a way to earn money and degrades the natural process of pregnancy into a mere service to be bought and sold. Even when done without monetary compensation, surrogacy opens the door to complicated custody debates and emotional turmoil that surrogates are ill prepared to deal with going into the deal. Especially during the pregnancy, the dispute over who has a right to decide what happens to the child is intensely complicated in a way natural methods of conceiving avoid altogether.

While medical advancements generally move society forward and provide benefits that outweigh any possible negatives, the potential for harm, mistakes and abuse that exist in surrogacy and IVF surpass their potential for good. 

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