Yes, that’s it!

Then there is the all too obvious question as to why it should be acceptable to abort embryos, but not to modify or mutate them.

Genetic manipulation of embryos must indeed be permissible in a society that allows abortion. Convinces me at least.

“Why can’t I manipulate these genes?”

“Because it’s wrong!”

“But I can kill it instead?”

“Yes!”

“Fuck off”

29 comments on “Yes, that’s it!

  1. Doesn’t work either. You can genetically manipulate animals.

    If someone were to perform a late-term, full-on dismembering abortion on a dog, they’d go down for animal cruelty. But it’s a wimmin’s rights thing to be able to do that to a human baby.

  2. I think the main reason they’re wary of experimenting with the genetics of embryos is that mistakes will inevitably be made, as in all new areas of science, and somebody will have to live with them for the rest of their life. Non-existence doesn’t involve any suffering, a life of pain with some freakish genetic abnormality potentially does. And you can’t ask for permission in advance.

  3. There’s plenty of genetic stuff you could do that would make life totally horrible (arguably worse than death but that obviously depends on your perspective) for the modified person, so the sweeping statement that you must allow (any) modification if you allow abortion isn’t logical.

    Legalisation of abortion is a necessary evil. Without it you have backstreet quacks with coathangers. And I’m not at all convinced there is a moral issue with the termination of pregnancy by human intervention given that nature does it without human intervention so frequently and efficiently. If you believe that then presumably you believe there is a moral issue with humans killing animals but no moral issue with animals killing animals.

  4. I have no specific problem either terminating a foetus with a genetic abnormality, nor modifying an existing foetus, embryo or gamete to transform an otherwise life-altering genetic abnormality into some measure of normality.

    However, what I don’t accept is the right of a woman to abort an otherwise healthy foetus just because she is a woman. The recent example of the Radical Feminist who aborted her perfectly healthy child because it was a boy I find utterly repellent.

    Those seeking IVF are unable to pre-select for sex in this country (except where a genetic abnormality is sex related), but this is no real measure of protection as the vast majority of births are not-IVF and can be terminated at will on any whim and even where a couple can only get pregnant via IVF, but would prefer a specific sex they simply go abroad.

  5. @ John Galt

    Can non-humans be feminists? Actually, I suppose it’s nearly a pre-condition…

    And what happened to the old science fiction scare of the rich producing super babies through genetic manipulation of the foetus?

  6. “And what happened to the old science fiction scare of the rich producing super babies through genetic manipulation of the foetus?”

    The rich got replaced by the Chinese.

  7. “Legalisation of abortion is a necessary evil. Without it you have backstreet quacks with coathangers. ”

    And you’ll have exactly the same happen with genetic manipulation. The market always triumphs.

  8. BiG – Legalisation of abortion is a necessary evil. Without it you have backstreet quacks with coathangers.

    Doesn’t that make the argument that FGM should be legalised too ?

  9. And what happened to the old science fiction scare of the rich producing super babies through genetic manipulation of the foetus?

    The “Road to Gattaca” is proceeding quite nicely since you ask, but given the public outcry from the SJW’s all happening behind closed doors and in laboratories and clinics in countries which don’t have laws against it or where they turn a blind eye.

    A diverse Asian superman created through the benefit of genetic engineering, now why does that ring a bell…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnSnfiUI54

  10. @Gunker,

    tldr: No it doesn’t.

    The reason being, there is no positive outcome from FGM whether done by a doctor or a quack. Quacks can’t do substantially more harm than a doc would (and if you legalised FGM you would find very few docs prepared to perform the procedure anyway). So by making it illegal, you reduce the number of people who are FGMmed, and don’t make things noticeably worse for those unfortunates that do get FGMmed.

    Now you can argue about positive or otherwise outcomes from abortion. Clearly it is not usually a positive outcome for the fetus, but we simply don’t care about that. The fetus has no legal personhood, indeed under much-vaunted English common law was specifically excluded. Granting of legal personhood to foetuses (e.g. pregnancy of a victim being an aggravating factor) is a recent development led by activist judges and anti-abortion politicians in the USA. We should perhaps debate the merits of prosecuting women for smoking during pregnancy because it’s considered assault on their fetus.

    Scientifically speaking, about half of foetuses get spontaneously aborted in the first trimester, so nature also seems to not care too much, and certainly, prior to birth, errs on the side of the mother (who can have another go) than the fetus (which might get no go at all with a dead mother) when their interests are in conflict.

    As for the mother, well outcome is, in a liberal society, for her to define, correct? At what point do we start enforcing things on women who have chosen to radically restrict their liberty for the next couple of decades?

  11. @John Galt,
    Pretty sure the boy abortion was debunked. On here in fact.

    I’m prepared to accept the truth of what you say at face value BiG, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least that this was true and given the stupidity and vindictiveness of Radical Feminism, if it hasn’t happened (which I doubt), it will happen.

    Sometimes I am glad that our time on this Earth is limited, because otherwise I would have no option but to go on a killing spree 🙂

  12. Bloke in Germany – “Legalisation of abortion is a necessary evil. Without it you have backstreet quacks with coathangers.”

    You mean it might be a crime that occurs rarely, and is done by people who avoid the police? Like rape? Or murder? We could, I suppose, create safe spaces for rapists. But why would we want to?

    “And I’m not at all convinced there is a moral issue with the termination of pregnancy by human intervention given that nature does it without human intervention so frequently and efficiently.”

    Nature is going to kill you. Get all of us actually. Can anyone see the basic logical error in your argument?

    “If you believe that then presumably you believe there is a moral issue with humans killing animals but no moral issue with animals killing animals.”

    Presumably anyone who has thought about morality for more than two minutes thinks there is a moral issue with humans killing all sorts of animals and there isn’t with animals killing animals. Animals cannot form a malicious intent for one thing.

    You should not inflict a change on a foetus you intend to survive unless you are damn sure about the results. We do not want another thalidomide scandal. To do so on a foetus that won’t survive is a much lesser crime.

  13. It’s not a fair analogy, Tim.

    If we genetically modify an individual embryo (in a way that affects their sperm or egg cells too), then we’re also potentially affecting all their future offspring too, and all their descendents.

    We’ve got to be sure we’re not imposing problems on them.

    Also, there’s a moral difference between fixing a genetic problem for a baby already in the womb, who is otherwise guaranteed to suffer in life, versus deliberately genetically modifying a test-tube embryo, which will not come to term anyway in the absence of other scientific/technical intervention to implant it.

  14. There’s about two hundred sci fi novels written around this theme. Might be worth digging out a few & reading them.

  15. Shit! Now I’ve done it. SF is speculative fiction. SciFi is cowboy films made with spaceships.

  16. Bloke in Germany – Legalisation of abortion is a necessary evil. Without it you have backstreet quacks with coathangers.

    So we were told. Abortion was going to be safe, legal, and rare. But what happened? 50 million American babies have been aborted since Roe v Wade. England loses the equivalent of a town the size of Oxford – every year – to abortion.

    This is a holocaust of the most helpless human beings imaginable.

    On a harm caused basis, we’d be better off accepting that a handful of women will die every year in coathanger-related incidents.

    And I’m not at all convinced there is a moral issue with the termination of pregnancy by human intervention given that nature does it without human intervention so frequently and efficiently.

    Nature gives people cancer all the time, yet if one were to deliberately cause cancer in others, it’d be a crime.

    If you believe that then presumably you believe there is a moral issue with humans killing animals but no moral issue with animals killing animals.

    I don’t have any moral qualms about animals being killed, but I do think innocent human life is – for want of a better word – sacred.

  17. Curiously millions of embryo are aborted and modified and mutated daily… I blame God.

    IVF is genetic modification often accompanied by abortion as is sexual reproduction and some stem cell research.

    Some people need to get a grip.

  18. BiG – “The reason being, there is no positive outcome from FGM whether done by a doctor or a quack” I am afraid you are wrong there. There are huge risks of complications from infection, closure of the urethra etc when done in unhygienic conditions by amateurs.

    “and if you legalised FGM you would find very few docs prepared to perform the procedure anyway)”
    I don’t know about that, http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/doctor-sentenced-after-egypt-s-first-fgm-conviction-1.2079953

  19. Modifying foetuses will inevitably be a government thing with heavy penalty for illegal activity.
    Then the government can put in an order for whatever type of citizen -male / female- mild /vicious etc – they want and the babies will have been modified to order.

  20. John B – “IVF is genetic modification often accompanied by abortion as is sexual reproduction and some stem cell research.”

    IVF is not genetic modification but even if it was, what makes you think that I am happy with IVF? Stem cell researchers wanted to use foetuses but George W Bush refused and they had to use adult stem cells instead. Not sure what British researchers use. But again, what makes you think anyone is fine with that?

    john malpas – “Modifying foetuses will inevitably be a government thing with heavy penalty for illegal activity.”

    Probably. The question is what will anyone do about it when it is done overseas. If a British couple go to China and get their child’s intelligence increased, have they committed a crime in UK law and what is the government going to do about it? Sterilise the child?

    But I have a suggestion to annoy Ironman. The Swedes this week have decided that rape is at least partly genetic. The government should legislate to remove said genes from the gene pool. Anyone want to bet whether they are evenly distributed across all ethnic groups in the UK?

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