LONDON, September 27, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An article appearing in Sunday’s News Telegraph, says that wealthy British career women who are either not married or who cannot be bothered to conceive the natural way are turning more frequently to private IVF treatments.
Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World has become a benchmark for predictions on the trends in the new reproductive technologies. Huxley’s predictions are coming true at an alarming rate in our times when babies can be manufactured according to specifications and implanted in surrogates so that busy IVF clients need not be troubled with marital sexual relations, childbearing and birth.
The next stage appears to be a sociological shift, according to an English IVF specialists, who say he is seeing more women coming into IVF facilities and ordering babies as if shopping for luxury consumer goods.
Michael Dooley, an English gynaecologist, obstetrician and fertility expert, told the Telegraph, “Conception has become medicalised. It’s too clinical. There has been a trend away from having sex and loving relationships towards medicalised conception.”
Dooley said that couples are coming to him for “inappropriate” IVF and are treating the procedure too casually. Dooley said, “I have people who come to me for IVF who haven’t got time for sex. Those people don’t care about looking for a lifestyle or maximising their natural potential.”
Emma Cannon, a fertility specialist at Westover House, a private British IVF facility, said, “People want everything now. If they can’t have a baby now, they want IVF. They think it’s no different from putting your name down for a handbag.”
This trend of reducing parenthood to a medicalized procedure and children to luxury commodities is seen by some as a result of the growing gulf between marriage and sexual activity. Before the advent of the chemical contraceptive pill, the idea of having children made to order from a specialty shop would have seemed not only futuristic but frightening and unhealthy.
Phoenix Catholic writer and blogger, Steve Skojec, wrote in response to the Telegraph article, “When natural, healthy procreation becomes an object of contempt and ridicule, the disturbing parallels to Huxley’s imagined future become more clear.”
Skojec writes that he fears the attitude of women “who were ‘too busy’ for engaging in the natural process of conception is the first step into a much more troubling mindset of utilitarian sexuality.”
When it was published in 1932, Huxley’s vision of a Brave New World was understood to be a dystopia, a society of alienated, shallow, near-automatons living in a rigidly controlled and artificial culture devoid of human relationships or emotional depth.
The full implications of having Huxley’s dystopia coming to life before the eyes of the world seem to have escaped the attention of medical experts and legislators, however.
The organization that seems to be still most concerned is the Roman Catholic Church and continues to insist that separating procreation from marriage is a path to social disaster.
As far back as 1968, Pope Paul VI warned in his encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae, that the acceptance of artificial birth control would lead to exactly the social evils that did occur. He warned of “marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards,” and that the use of contraceptives would reduce the “reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument.” Pope Paul said the Church “urges man not to betray his personal responsibilities by putting all his faith in technical expedients.”
Since Humanae Vitae, the Vatican issued a document, Donum Vitae, on the dangers of on artificial reproduction. The document, signed by then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, reiterated the idea, one that used to be common to all societies, religions and cultures, that “the good of the children and of the parents contributes to the good of civil society; the vitality and stability of society require that children come into the world within a family and that the family be firmly based on marriage.”