Omega, on 30 April 2017 - 08:46 PM, said:
Artificial wombs change everything. Mother wants to control her body? No problem. Artificial womb, right this way!
I don't think it does, at least not so glibly or simply. (I don't mean glibly at an insult, it is just that such a comment or sentiment tries to boil down too much a very knotty problem.
I am just saying it is not just about control over her body. Have you heard of the post-WW2 baby scoop era? These women didn't have a choice over whether to carry to term or not, but then were pressured to give up their children for adoption. Once there is an actual child some women will feel differently, for all sorts of reasons. That doesn't necessary mean that if they were able to make a decision earlier about parenthood that a decision in favour of abortion was wrong, we muddle through the life and deal with the situation in front of us as best we can. Part of the human condition.
Similar to how women surrogates may have developed strong feelings about the child(ren) they are carrying and will sometimes go against the genetic/intended parent(s) wishes when it comes to abortion despite a contract (in cases of disability, or higher multiples), or, in rarer cases, giving up the child once it is born.
I remember reading recently about a Montreal couple who aborted in the 3rd trimester. Found the article.
They had trouble finding a doctor, so their story got out there, and there was a lot of flak and push back. The 20 week scan was fine, but at 7 months a scan showed the baby as having skeletal malformations and was abnormally small. It was a rare disease, may require operations, and doctors told her her child might never walk. So serious disability at the very least. The article didn't say anything about life expectancy, or even the conditions name, but I sincerely doubt this would be a condition considered incompatible with life. She went through with an abortion at 30 weeks, after she found a doctor/facility that would do it.
The couple received a lot of public back-lash, and many saying, at that point, why not carry to term (or, in the future, use this technology, would be an argument), and give the child up for adoption? Heck, some doctors schedule c-sections at 37 weeks (full term being 40 weeks). So, what was her argument for abortion? What made her heart decide this was the right thing to do? She knew that, whether she kept the newborn or let it be adopted (or put into foster care), that the child would suffer. And she couldn't bear to think that her child might suffer, regardless of who it called mom and/or dad.
More women feel loss about giving their children up for adoption than having an abortion. Not saying that that is a good sole reason why to allow abortion, just that it is complicated.
I have done respite fostering. I don't think going down the road of just separating fetuses from their natal-mothers is an easy ethical choice or many reasons. I want children to come into the world wanted (and wanted does not equal planned, its about the decision after the pregnancy is confirmed). I know many children languish in foster care.
I've read that 5% of women who have an abortion experience regret. In this article
, but an adoption professional, she(? - Randie) sites a study that says 75% of women who give up their baby for adoption experience feelings of loss (and presumably regret) even as far as 15-20 years later (I don't know if the study went on longer than that or not).
~1 in 3 women have an abortion in their life time, so ~1 in 4 women will be dealing with a sense of loss.
~1 in 5 pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) ended in abortion in the U.S. in 2014. So ~1 in 5 people will have been either been given up to foster-care/orphanages/adoption, or kept by parent(s) ill-equipped to care for them, on top of whichever numbers there were before.
It seems often people think about these abstract cute little babies. But those cute little babies require a lot of resources to care for them once born, to ensure their proper physical, mental, socio-emotional, development. Children should have access to parent(s) (or guardian(s)), who are willing and able to provide them.
~1 in 5 pregnancies end in abortion instead of a live birth… Abortion rates has been going down, probably due to more reliable and consistent use of birth control, so it may be lower now.
In 2013, reported to the CDC, was 664,435 legal abortions.
In the scenario you are hoping for, here are the most probably results of such of those ~half a million or more pregnancies that used to end in legal abortion.
- More illegal abortions
- More women keep children they are ill-equipped to care for.
- More women pressured to give up their children for adoption that they'd rather not do.
- More children in foster care and/or orphanages.
- More adults with mental health issues, and/or dysfunctional behaviours, as these children grow up.
- If we are talking about artificial wombs for all 9 months, the need for adoption will go down as more women with fertility issues choose ectogenesis instead of adoption (heck, already happens with surrogacy).
I see negative results as of all of these. Illegal abortions will not be regulated, and will be unsafe. More children neglected and/or abused in their natal home. More children will be neglect and/or abused outside of their natal home as the quality of adoptive/foster homes goes down with the large volume of workload on social workers, with standards and/or oversight diminishing. And seeing what happens to kids in neighbouring poor families and/or kids in foster care, that is something prospective mother may not want for their child, and want to avoid.
These are complex problems requiring complex solutions. We are better off addressing these issues through comprehensive sex-ed, access to birth control, and finding solutions to structural/systematic barriers to people raising families (income inequality, parental-leave, childcare, among many others). Though many in the pro-life movement are opposed to those.
I don't know that we'd be better off separating pregnancy from biology, as it just seems to create new issues. Which are not that different from the old issues, but people don't like to talk about them. Certain segments of society would rather blame women, or poor families, for their having sex and their poverty and perceived mooching off of society. Of course, the counter argument, that some pro-life people make, is similar to mine, though they say abortion is not the solution, that we should do more to help parents. That doesn't really help someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy right now though.
This doesn't even get into the issue of women not wanting to have a child with the father. Maybe due to abuse, maybe just because they are not parental material or they don't see a future with him. And presumably in an outcome where she can't privately have an abortion, I would assume the father would be informed and would have the ability to get custody. Which may be a win for some children (not just because they were not aborted, but because they end up with good or great fathers). But the woman who is in an abusive relationship, the picture is not so rosy for her or her child. (I know for sure some would argue that the odd woman trap men with children they don't want now, I understand the argument, but do we really want to add to problem with more opportunities to do so, more than biology does already?).
Human life is messy and not clear cut. I don't know that artificial wombs make it more clear cut.
How do we ensure the children who are unplanned and/or unwanted in this scenario have access to guardian(s) that are willing and able to ensure that the child's physical, mental, socio-emotional, developmental needs are met?
ETA: I just also thought, if the rate of abortion remains relatively unchanged, and they have this artificial womb, even if it is only used on fetuses after ~22 weeks…. Assuming you didn't make them vacate the artificial womb early, and gave them 18 weeks in there to get them to "term"… Thats about 1/3 of the year. The 664,435 abortions done in 2013 would have required at least 221,478 of these artificial wombs (not including the ones needed for premature babies) if abortion was outlawed and this was the only way to stop the women's pregnancy early. And who covers the cost of the staff and equipment and medicine for this? I can't see the women's health insurance volunteering to covering the prenatal costs after separation, if she is giving up her parental rights.
Also, if removing a fetus at bare viability (22-26 weeks) is the earliest of what is feasible, I don't think that would be a simple straight forward procedure for the woman. That would either be labour & delivery or a c-section (major surgery), and all that those, and their risks, entail. And an earlier procedure would also have its issues and dangers. I presume a labour and delivery would not be desirable, due to possibly complications and/or wanting to get the fetus into the artificial womb quickly. I don't see how this could be done without surgery. *Maybe* early in the pregnancy when the embryo is really small they could dilate the cervix and use tools that won't harm the fetus but can extract it from the womb through the dilated cervix? Neither sounds participate fun or easy, but I guess their what their similarity or difference in experience to, and/or risks of, an early abortion would be a more reasonable comparison. If we are going to go artificial wombs we might as well do the whole thing in there and just make people apply for licenses for parenthood
I did see one person say it should be called an advanced incubator. I see their point. Basically a child's first couple breaths of air stop any further development of their lungs, which is why it is so problematic for a child to be born near viability as their lungs have not developed sufficiently. So, it is a way to "ventilate" them appropriate to their developmental level.
Edited by sierraleone, 01 May 2017 - 11:10 AM.