August 30, 2005
From foetus to full term - without a mother's touch
By Ainsley Newson
ARTIFICIAL wombs, to bring a foetus of a human being to full term outside a woman’s body, could become a reality within 20 years, scientists have predicted. This could present great advantages in the case of very premature babies, which could be nurtured to full pregnancy term in artificial wombs, thereby reducing the risk of long-term developmental problems.
Such technology might also appeal to those who cannot have children naturally, such as women with a damaged uterus or no uterus at all, or to gay couples. The need for surrogate mothers could disappear. Experiments with human embryos, mice and goats have already had some success.
But the technology raises significant ethical challenges and should not proceed without full ethical debate, Frida Simonstein, of Ben Gurion University in Israel, said. She told a weekend conference in Barcelona on ethics and emerging medical technologies that these problems were not insurmountable.
Of course the primary consumers of this Frankenstein technology would be men.
Once again we can see the jealousy of men towards mothers, along with the male determination to be in charge of everything again, is leading straight to hell in a hand basket.
Although the artificial wombs are being painted as a technology to be used for the good of “very premature babies, which could be nurtured to full pregnancy term in artificial wombs, thereby reducing the risk of long-term developmental problems” this is the usual baloney that we’ve heard so many times before to such dire results.
Just as encouraging men to be better, more involved fathers was supposed to be soooooo much better for women and children when, in fact, we now know where that led. To the threat of a custody fight now being used as a club to terrorize every mother, to millions of mothers becoming non-custodial parents some rarely if ever seeing their children again and to 350,000 parental abductions occurring annually, many committed by men trying to get custody through loopholes in state laws.
This situation will be no different for our society. In fact, I predict it will be a total disaster.
Having babies in artificial receptacles separates an infant from a mother, when critical bonding should be taking place. It is even thought that infants communicate with mother in utero, thus prepping mother for the stress of sleep deprivation which will be taking place when the infant is born and needs practically round-the-clock care. So whoever will be taking care of the new infant will not have gone through this critical preparation and thus be impatient and uncaring when the infant wakes them in the middle of the night.
Actually there is some indication that fathers are more responsible for shaken baby syndrome then mothers and this is probably the reason. Impatience with a crying infant can lead to many bad things happening to said infant.
Of course this is just one issue vis-à-vis the critical mother/child bond, but there are others. We are just actually beginning to uncover the many inexplicable messages that Mother Nature has provided for infant and mother to communicate to each other in utero, as she attempts to facilitate the bonding necessary between mother and child for the optimum beginning in the life of an infant. This is certainly not the time to start more gender-neutralized engineering experiments on infants and mothers to see how far we can push the envelope and still have a mentally and emotionally-stable child produced.
These artificial wombs will allow men to have children willy nilly with no mothers involved, equivalent to going into a pet store and picking out a puppy to bring home. We have no idea of what the long-term effect of this will be on children or even on our society. It may ultimately cause an evolutionary rupture (for want of a better term) for women between our past and the future of motherhood that will prove impossible to mend if we need to at a later date when this idea fails, as the odds are high that it will. For who knows, if after a generation or two of women not being mothers due to these artificial wombs, if any of them will ever even want to be mothers again. Similar to what happened when formula in bottles was introduced. Now few mothers breast feed anymore, even though it has been shown time and time again to be better for infants.
Like the infamous Humpty Dumpty of nursery school fame, you cannot always put things back together again after they’ve been shattered.
Feminism has been unsuccessfully trying to sideline the idea of the mother/child bond for decades. This artificial womb might finally be the weapon they ultimately need to do this.