Independent Voices |

Independent Voices

No. There are certain processes that should be independent of direct human influence, and I think this is one of them. Consider the situation in Asia, where the population is now genetically skewed because of girls being killed or aborted. Are we asking for the same eventual result?

Call me a traditionalist, but I don’t think it should be up to us to alter the composition of the human race at this fundamental of a level. We are crossing the line of where science should ethically be able to go.

What a deep one this time. I gave it a lot of thought, tossed and turned it with my daughter. The bottom line always came to pro-choice. As a child of the Roe v. Wade 1973 landmark case, and mother of three “pre-ultrasound era” children, when Dr. Hostettler said, “Surprise, it’s a beautiful baby girl,” and “Another boy, Lori,” the elation of the surprise was overwhelming. Unless you experience it, you can’t imagine. The only thing I prayed for then was health. My choice, your choice, simple as that.

No. Medical science is doing amazing things that are genuinely making people’s lives better and improving our society as a whole. But what greater good is served by gender selection? Where will the unborn “a la carte” list stop?

Childbirth and raising children are wonderful gifts that need to be accepted as natural and slightly magical. As a society and as individuals, we need to cherish our children, not our sons or daughters.

Just because we can choose gender, should we? Can choosing a bouncing baby Brad Pitt or Uma Thurman look-alike with a Tim Russert brain be far behind? It will happen: “Baby Whopper … have it your way.”

But let’s not measure the quality of our lives by getting exactly what we want. Self indulgence can make our lives empty of risk, spontaneity and surprise. Have too many boys? Enrich your life by bestowing unconditional parental love on one of hundreds of Third World baby girls crying for adoption.

My first reaction was no. That is for God to decide. Then I thought if there was no harm done, why not? After finding out more, here is my answer.

Using the MicroSort method, which does not destroy embryos, I see no reason why parents cannot choose. But using Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, which takes fertilized eggs (embryos), saves the one the parents want, and destroys the unused ones, is unethical. The Ericsson Method appears OK as it does not destroy embryos. The individual parent must live with this decision, so it is very personal. The real question is, is an embryo a living being, and if so, is it ethical to destroy him or her?

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