Thursday, August 10, 2006

Designer Embryos?

In an commentary piece entitled "Embryos made to order" that appeared in today's Washington Times, Debra Saunders, a syndicated columnists, reports on Jennalee Ryan and her group The Abrahman Center of Life which advertises "The World's First Human Embryo Bank" online.
There's no need for would-be parents to settle for already-born babies or leftover embryos from couples with fertility issues. Ms. Ryan sent out a letter that explains, "Recipient parents will receive pictures of the donors as infants, and sometimes as adults; full medical background and health reports, and a family history." Her group, The Abraham Center of Life, uses sperm donors only with college degrees -- although "most of them have doctorate degrees" -- while most egg donors have some college.
That is not the most disturbing element. Maybe this next part of the commentary is:
Prospective parents can pick the sperm and eggs to produce their designer babies. Ms. Ryan even says she can find a surrogate mother to carry the fetus to term.
Get that? You can pick your own sperm donor and egg donor from their list of possible donors and you can even find a surrogate to help bring about "your" baby. All you need is the money to do it. Saunders ask pointblank, "Aren't you selling designer babies?" to which Ms Ryan replied:
"Designer babies? Yeah. Why not?" she replies with a laugh.
It is nice to know that Ms. Ryan is taking things so seriously. What caused Ms. Ryan to start this venture?
"You know why I did it? Because I could." Ms Ryan explains. She started Abigail's Silver Spoons Adoptions, Inc. years ago, and while that enterprise continues, she saw a new market in embryos.
Get that too? A new market indeed exists for such things. I guess it was only time until some venturing capitalist decided to make some money off of people - both in getting people to donate eggs and sperm as well as people who are desperate to have the baby they want in the manner they want it. Who knew life could be such a commodity. What is next? I guess I shouldn't ask Ms. Ryan that question. Finally, for justification purposes, Ms. Ryan says:
"As of right now, there is no regulation. You know how it works? If there is no law against it, it's legal."
What a nice notion of law and how it works. If there is no law against such a thing, then it's legal and perfect fine to make a business out of it.

I hesitate to link to the website for Ms. Ryan. I'll let those most interested in finding such a horrific practice to do so on their own.

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