February 14th, 2002
In my opinion, the pro-choice movement has suffered one of its worst blows in the last few years.
After a couple of initiatives made possible by the election of President Bush in the U.S., now a technical advance imparted a blow to pro-abortion arguments.
It is apparently possible to sustain a pregnancy in an artificial womb. Experiments have started in a New York research center at Cornell University in order to grow a baby, from embryo to maturity, completely outside a woman's body.
While this development in itself is unethical, as any experimentation on human embryos is, and while there may be even greater negative ramifications from this type of development, the mere theoretical possibility of developing a baby from the time of conception outside a woman's body has completely deflated the argument that abortions should be allowed until "viability" of the fetus.
The time of "viability", which had been receding in time, from months into a pregnancy to as low as sixteen weeks, has now leapfrogged to zero.
It is evident that at no time a fetus is a "bunch of cells" with no purpose or identity.
A human embryo is not completely formed, but it is complete in its genetic identity, it is alive and it is autonomous in its functions from the time of conception. The only thing it needs is a good place to live and appropriate nourishment.
Those nations where the law allows abortions until "viability" will have a dilemma. In the near future it may be demonstrated that a child is "viable" from the time of conception, as we (and kangaroos) always knew.
Other pro-abortion arguments ("I can do with my body what I want", use of the Morning After Pill, etc) may also be dismounted in consideration of this development.