Artificial Wombs: What are the societal implications?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
No mommy necessary



More info



Obviously this could have serious implications for lots of folks in lots of different areas. First it could obviously put an end to abortions. It could enable men to perhaps lay claim to women's income with regard to child support issues if they chose not to parent. It would make it possible for homosexual men to have children without needing third parties. It could be another avenue for childless couples in lieu of adoption and could I suppose allow those supermodel types to have children without losing their most marketable asset.



What do you think the fall out will be when artificial wombs are an affordable reality?



Nick

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Interesting articles. I think that - as with many things - there are pros and cons to the availability of this process. The fact that couples that are otherwise unable to have children together (be they infertile or gay) may now be able to have offspring is obviously great. The fact that it represents a potentially safer way to bring a child to term (for both mother and child) would appear to be a positive thing, but the idea that insurance companies may use this increased safety to prevent those that want to from doing things the ?old fashioned? way is an unpleasant thought. Then of course there are the as-yet-unknown risks to the development of the child?



    I think that this process may reduce instances of abortion, but I don?t see it getting rid of it altogether. People have sex and sometimes a pregnancy occurs by accident. When this occurs the woman may use abortion as a contraceptive method because she does not want to deal with the long-term consequences of becoming pregnant. If the process of removing a fetus and growing it in an artificial womb provides an almost equivalent removal of any and all long-term consequences at the same cost and level of risk then maybe abortion will one day become much less common.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,229member
    The implications would be great.



    Imagine the productivity increases in the workplace. FMLA leave would no longer be necessary. Invitro Fertilization would no longer be a crapshoot.



    Abortions could be reduced dramatically. Mother's of multiple children could be stretchmark free!!



    The harmfull effects of Fetal Intoxication and/or other maladies could be prevented.



    You will undoubtedly hear the "boobirds" complain about the violation of "Nature" but the benefits outweigh the potential problems.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman



    What do you think the fall out will be when artificial wombs are an affordable reality?





    We can finally harvest humans for energy!!!!!
  • Reply 4 of 18
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    The shorthand version of my abortion stance for the last few years: If it is in a womb, it is life. If it is in a petri dish, it isn't. It still holds.



    With surrogate mothers commonplace today, many of the issues have been argued over and won't be much of quandary when it comes.



    If it is really cheap and affordable, I supposed it will be a litmus test for pro-life folks. Will pro-life folks be willing to fund these artificial wombs and orphanages and thereby save all the lives that would have been aborted? Will the public at large (through gov't funding) be willing to do that?
  • Reply 5 of 18
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    I don't know worldmag, but the made in this article claims are truely idiotic. State fabricating children, my ass. Not to mention the hyperbole and thinly veiled propaganda.



    The artificial heart has been under development for what? 40 years now? Same for fusion reactors. Same for eradication of world famine and cancer.

    I severly doubt I live to see an artificial womb producing a healthy child.



    It will be interesting to see which nation will allow scientists to use human embryos as gunea pigs to test the thing on them. The idea of transplanting a growing fetus from a woman into one of the breeding chambers is as far-fetched as reconnecting the nerve cells in a decapitated person. Theoretically possible, but that's about it.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Yeah, but we'll have to develop The Matrix if we do this, right? And then we'll have to decide if we want to give people free will and all that. And what if The One decides not to destroy Zion? They just haven't thought all this through yet.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    2 words:



    axolotl tanks.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    let's not forget: Soylent greens are people!
  • Reply 9 of 18
    willoughbywilloughby Posts: 1,457member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    Yeah, but we'll have to develop The Matrix if we do this, right? And then we'll have to decide if we want to give people free will and all that. And what if The One decides not to destroy Zion? They just haven't thought all this through yet.



    We gotta make the AI first, they'll make all the decisions for you.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    We need some advanced artificial wombs in order to quickly create an army of humans, derided as "tanks", to help battle against the enemy AI robots. Which show did I come from?
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman



    What do you think the fall out will be when artificial wombs are an affordable reality?





    A. Huxley's Brave New World
  • Reply 12 of 18
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    We have a 300 pound baby at work that could use one.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,454member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tonton

    I don't understand why this will be a good thing in terms of abortions vis a vis social impact.



    Let's say that someday it becomes cost effective to remove a first trimester embryo from a woman, insert it in an artificial womb and carry it to full term (can you imagine the Huxleyesque baby farms?) There would be thousands and thousands of healthy white babies, along with tens of thousands of minority babies. Which do you think are going to be adopted?



    Right now there are not enough adoptive parents out there for the black babies put up for adoption. Everybody wants white babies. Yeah sure, there are long waiting lists for adoption. Because they want white babies! Duh. If every adoptive couple would accept a minority baby, we still would have a shortage of adoptive parents for all of the babies out there.



    Then you suggest extracting all embryos intended for abortion and carry them to term in an artificial womb? Geezus there would suddenly be all these babies with no parents. We'd be lucky to have a 10% adoption rate. Then what? The state takes care of them in state orphanages? I hope they tax the hell out of Trumptman to pay for that.




    Remember Trumptman is a supporter of the male pill as well. So it is much more likely there will be fewer "lapses" of birth control since it will be available in the future by the time these artificial wombs would be available.



    Likewise a little paternity law reform could lead to fewer babies being born that are unwanted as well. Since right now only one parent gets a say in that matter.



    Nick
  • Reply 14 of 18
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,454member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tonton

    I too am a supporter of the male pill as long as it doesn't lead to irresponsibility about condom usage. But because men lie all the time I doubt many intelligent women will fall for the line "I don't need one, I'm on the pill".



    I see the male pill as having two advantages:



    1. Protect responsible men from false paternity claims (she says the baby's his, but he knows he was on the pill).



    2. Share the contraceptive burden in long-term, monogamous couples who have determined that STDs are not a possibility.



    I don't know what your suggestions are regarding paternity law reform. Oh, I get it. You're suggesting that a man who wants to keep the child while his partner doesn't should be able to force the baby to term. Okay, as long as this would be done outside of the woman's body, I wouldn't object to that idea. But I think there are far fewer men of that mindset than you think. Men are the ones who generally shirk responsibility in child rearing, not take it singlehandedly.



    I also see how the artificial womb would lead to advancements in gay fatherhood.




    Actually there was a rather long thread titled I think "My body, my choice, for men too" by me where bunge, Shawn, myself and a bunch of others hashed about male choice. I think men should have the right to opt out of parenting just like women.



    Nick
  • Reply 15 of 18
    thttht Posts: 3,115member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tonton

    I don't understand why this will be a good thing in terms of abortions vis a vis social impact.



    As with all technological things, there are good and bad side effects. My thought experiment was whether the pro-life half of this nation is willing to pony up given that there is a mechanism that could save aborted babies.



    Perhaps the real societal impact will be the situation where women - a husband and wife - don't want to carry their babies to term anymore. Why should they risk it, if everything can be done in an artificial womb? If the artificial womb is "perfect", it would mean the baby and mother are all in the safest situation. Any problems with the baby that would need treatment or surgery can be done in a much safer environment and the baby can be monitored 24x7 by professionals.



    Quote:

    Let's say that someday it becomes cost effective to remove a first trimester embryo from a woman, insert it in an artificial womb and carry it to full term (can you imagine the Huxleyesque baby farms?)



    Actually, I'm having a hard time imagining it as a future possibility.



    Quote:

    Right now there are not enough adoptive parents out there for the black babies put up for adoption. Everybody wants white babies. Yeah sure, there are long waiting lists for adoption. Because they want white babies! Duh. If every adoptive couple would accept a minority baby, we still would have a shortage of adoptive parents for all of the babies out there.



    Then you suggest extracting all embryos intended for abortion and carry them to term in an artificial womb? Geezus there would suddenly be all these babies with no parents. We'd be lucky to have a 10% adoption rate. Then what? The state takes care of them in state orphanages? I hope they tax the hell out of Trumptman to pay for that.




    Yes, this would be the consequence of my beliefs. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to live, no matter their situation. I do however understand the divisiveness of the abortion and the only way to make progress is compromise.



    It is interesting to note that with talk of easy male contraception and easy female contraception we still talk as if the abortion rates in the future will stay the same as they are today in the USA. With the male pill and pill regimens for women that reduce menstruation to 4 times year, abortion rates could get so few that the issue disappears.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    No mommy necessary



    More info





    Man, worldmag or worldrag? I love the part about "pro-choicers" really being, "in fact," pro-death. Yeah, that's good journalism.



    To the point- this possibility has been pondered for years. I'm a technophile, but I suspect the in utero approach will be the best way to go for a while. We still haven't got formula to beat the breast. I doubt we will identify all the essential ineractions between the fetus and mother any time soon.



    If it ever does prove to produce healthier children, I'm all for it.



    Regarding the abortion issue, I'm fine with fetal adoption if the mother wants to do that. These arguments about it being mandatory depend on the status of the fetus as a sentient human being. There is no compelling evidence to suggest sentience in the first trimester, but the issue gets quite iffy in the third.



    Personally, my position is pro-mind so I'd be fine with requiring fetal adoption at the stage when our use of MRI and our understanding of neural development allow us to conclude that a fetus has acquired human sentience. That is, of course, provided the procedure is safe.



    Before the fetus becomes sentient it really is a question of autonomy over one's body and genetics. The artificial womb may remove the body issue, but not the genetics issue. If someone argues that sentience is irrelevant, that the fetus has a right to develop due simply to the uniqueness of it's genetics then one could simply collect fetal cells after an abortion, clone them into new embryos and put those up for adoption.
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