PGD: Next Step Toward Designer Babies?

In addition to what I talked about in the last post, 3-parent IVF, there is another controversial procedure that enables would-be parents to select the sex of a child with almost 100 percent certainty through a technique called Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).  Also known as “Family Balancing,”  it can be part of the IVF process. How does it work? Like “regular” IVF, the woman is given big time hormones to produce several eggs. Then the eggs are taken out and mixed with the partner’s sperm. After three days.the embryos are tested and scientists analyze chromosomes to identify the sex. Then only the embryos of the right sex are put back in the womb.  Analyzing the chromosomes is supposed to be very accurate–99%, and if the woman gets pregnant with this procedure she “will almost certainly have a baby of the desired sex.”

The procedure is legal is most U.S., Russia and the Middle East, but not everywhere, such as Great Britain, which sees problems with how this kind of IVF will “facilitate discriminatory social engineering”–or said another way, will be a step towards a future of designer babies.

On one hand I do see logic in something like this, as to not encourage parents to keep having more children until they get the sex they want.  However, I have to oppose it when I think of the larger picture of condoning designer babies and ultimately human cloning.

What would happen if PGD became the rage with celebs and a new trend is set that blond babies are in? Green eyes are in? Tall babies are in? Only babies of a specific skin tone? What if certain factions wanted to work toward a 2 to 1 ratio of men to women or women to men for their own crazy reasons?

Or not so crazy reasons. Look at China, which has already created a disproportionate distribution of gender without PGD IVF.  Their one child policy and cultural disposition for boys (which has resulted in who knows how many forced abortions and female infanticide) has led to a disproportionate number of boys/young men/men, such that by “2020 there will be 24 million more men than women” in this country. Good luck to the guys in finding mates with these kinds of numbers!

I land at feeling that if society allows for this kind of thing, and 3-parent IVF it will ultimately open the door to starting to control for all sorts of stuff in babies…ending with human cloning.  Like a woman who commented on my facebook page, this has “far too much potential for abuse. ” She also wisely says–“Do I understand people wanting to use that to have healthy children? Sure! But designer babies? No. You should be joyful about any child you get if you desire to be a parent.”

What do you think?

One thought on “PGD: Next Step Toward Designer Babies?

  1. Surprised this one never got any commentary. My take on this: Well, if the “parenting is a badge of adulthood” crowd are into their trophy children, well of course, designer children are a “logical” next step! Think of it, the ultimate “trophy child” becomes a reality. Designer trophy children eating frankenfoods, going on play dates, pulling their wheely bags, with their mobile devices pinging calendar reminders programed by their half-French Tiger Moms!

    In the year, 2525 …

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