You’ve been sharing your thoughts and stories on whether everyone should be a parent for a week now and the latest is scientists are suggesting that everyone might be able to. Scientists claim to have created human sperm in the laboratory and believe the work could eventually help men with fertility problems.
“I wonder, will man ever tire of playing God? Not that I believe in God, but some things should be left to nature.” That was Simon in Lincoln reacting to The Times’ article. Is this man playing God or man trying to help mankind?
And this comment from Pete. “How sick is this? With the world seriously overpopulated we are still trying to find ways of ramming more people onto it. It’s sad for infertile people, but nature has selected them, let’s listen to nature eh!” Is he right should some people accept that they are just not meant to be parents?
Another issue raised in this comment from Jeff, ” First, society downplayed the importance of the father. Single, Govt. reliant baby factories (“mothers”) are on the up. Then, IVF and sperm donors arrived, no longer did a woman need to get to know a man to have babies. Now, you don’t need anything male related to take part in making a child. Urgh.”
What do you think? Is this a great achievement or science going too far? If you’ve been trying for a baby for long is this news welcome?
And…What got us talking in the first place
The Rwandan government is under fire for a proposed new law which would forcibly sterilise mentally disabled people.
In Namibia, a group of HIV positive women are going to court because they claim they were sterilised against their will.
And in Britain a sixty-six year old woman has been heavily criticised for becoming pregnant through IVF.
In all of these cases the women involved are physically able to become pregnant, but is it a good idea? Does everyone who is able to conceive have the right to bear a child?
Type ‘parent license’ into Google and you get over 21 million pages. It’s an idea which has been around for a long time and which clearly has a lot of support, and a lot of detractors.
But the stories I’ve quoted here raise a few issues beyond the concept of a government-mandated parental license, (which doesn’t seem to be on any government’s agenda any time soon).
At its very heart, how much control should people be allowed over their most basic function – to procreate? Who should get to decide what is in the best interest of the child? Is that solely a personal decision for the parents? If there is a real chance that a child may end up being cared for by the state, say if he or she was born to a woman who might not be able to care for a child because of a mental or physical illness, should the state play any role in that decision?
Is it right to lump a group of people together because of a medical condition? For example, an HIV positive person can either be in very good health or very sick indeed. Someone with a mental illness can function very well in day-to-day life or can struggle to perform basic tasks.
If you’re to become pregnant, is it your incontrovertible right to have a child?