When Man Plays God
When ultrasound technology (sonogram) became readily available to physicians, it was a boon to the medical profession, which quickly realized its practical applications. Relatively inexpensive, portable and un-invasive, ultrasound scans soon became one of the first tests to be performed in the routine examination of a patient’s heart, liver, lymph nodes, etc.
Women, especially, benefit from sonograms, whose images can identify the causes of pelvic bleeding, menstrual problems, cysts and cancerous cells. And of course the general monitoring of the health of both baby and mother during pregnancy have made the sonogram an invaluable diagnostic tool.
But there is a flip side to this coin — the abuse of ultrasound technology (or of any technology, for that matter).
In societies that are culturally biased against women, the sonogram can lead to eugenics, genocide and murder. In many parts of the Islamic world, for example, the birth of a daughter can bring extreme financial hardship to a family, and the early knowledge of the existence of a female fetus developing inside the womb has led many a couple to either abort the pregnancy or hide knowledge of the pregnancy until birth, whereupon the baby girl was left on some hillside to die of exposure.
In countries with a tradition of honoring the birth of a son and lamenting the birth of a daughter, such as Communist China, the practice of female infanticide has reached new heights. China’s deadly (for females) combination of its one-child policy on the one hand, and a longstanding preference for sons on the other, has led to extremely high abortion rates for girls; as a result, in some regions of the country the living population consists of 120 males for every 100 females.
In the year 1990, it is estimated that more than 100,000 ultrasound scanners were in use in China, and that more than 1.7 million female babies went “missing” that year; the number has grown steadily higher since then. While doctors in China are officially banned from telling parents the gender of the baby, they can usually be bribed into providing the information.
In the United States, this screening process is about to be brought to a whole new level.
According to a report this weekend on Fox and Friends, there are now fertility clinics in New York and Los Angeles that will allow prospective parents–for a $5,000 fee–to have a mother’s embryo removed, tested, and then implanted back into the womb. This will not only allow for the examination and detection of defects in the gene sequence that may indicate the likelihood that the person will someday develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s, but will also enable the parents to reject those embryos that don’t meet their standards.
DNA microarray, as the process is called, will enable parents to scan their offspring’s genetic code, allowing them to customize whatever attributes they wish for their children — from eye and hair color, to height, to athleticism, to singing ability.
The potential for abuse here is enormous. These “designer babies” will bring us closer to Nazi and eugenicist ideals than ever before.
In this ugly yet entirely plausible scenario, it is only a matter of time before governments begin to explore the potential for dictating what their populations should look like.
Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood (America’s largest abortion mill), was the living embodiment of such a mindset. A devoted eugenicist, Sanger At a March 1925 international birth-control event in New York City, Sanger advocated — for the “salvation of American civilization” — the sterilization of those “unfit” to procreate — most notably Catholics.
Sanger’s commitment to eugenic “sexual science” dovetailed seamlessly with her Marxist vision. While she had been heartened by the success of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, she doubted that a revolution for a new communist order in the U.S. could be carried out by a proletariat class of limited intellectual capacity. Thus she sought to elevate the quality of the overall gene pool by means of eugenics. Sanger wrote in The Pivot of Civilization:
“In pointing out the limitations and fallacies of the orthodox Marxian opinion, my purpose is not to depreciate the efforts of Socialists aiming to create a new society, but rather to emphasize what seems to me to be the greatest and most neglected truth of our day: unless sexual science is incorporated … and the pivotal importance of birth control is recognized in any program of reconstruction, all efforts to create a new world and a new civilization are foredoomed to failure.”