By using past progressive tense, perhaps I am getting a bit ahead of the state of the art in artificial wombs. But then, if you doubt man-made wombs will be a reality in the not so distant future, you really need to read this story out of Popular Science.
There is a lot of grist for discussion in there.
If you have read Roe v. Wade, the implications of an artificial womb should be obvious. Science appears poised to send this jurisprudential non-sense the way of Plessy v. Ferguson.
The Curmudgeon’s Digest version is that Roe linked the government’s constitutional limits to the “viability” of the baby whose life a mother seeks to terminate. When the inevitable day comes that artificial wombs are a reality, Roe itself will no longer be viable on its own reasoning. Or at least not viable in the sense of “protecting” a women’s access to abortion.
So whether you want to limit abortion or make it freely accessible, it will all come back to the definition of life. Unfortunately, the abortion rights advocates do not embrace this essential discussion. Heck, based on my sampling here at the Disenfranchised Curmudgeon, nobody really likes to talk about it but me.
Since talking to myself is an ordinary thing in my world, I shall not be dissuaded.
That failure is not an option will certainly not impede America’s avarice for ignoring difficult questions. Why should this issue be any different than education, budget deficits or illegal immigration? Why should I expect that Americans give it the same attention that we give steroids in baseball or Brad Pitt’s latest conquest?
If it is important, we simply do not deal with it.
But then I like to think that the readership here is well above average and willing to tackle hard questions. So there it is again: what is life? Or even a better question: what is a definition of life that will be a working solution for our pluralistic society. We don’t have to answer this. But if we don’t, we’ll have to take what the politicians give us.
And that possibility is frightens me more than even the Patriot Act.