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The right to pick the baby you want

So-con vs. Libertarian

Michael Coren and Karen Selick - November 22, 2004

From: Karen Selick kselick@westernstandard.ca
To: Michael Coren mcoren@westernstandard.ca
Subject: What's wrong with designer babies?
Date: November 5, 2004 8:16 AM

Overall, the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (the anti-cloning law) passed by parliament this spring strikes me as appallingly authoritarian, but the most unfathomable violation of freedom is its prohibition on sex selection for babies. Current sex selection technologies don't destroy human life. Sperm are simply sorted before fertilization to increase drastically the odds of producing the desired sex. Many North Americans use this technology simply to balance their families or prevent gender-linked diseases. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, the majority of one U.S. company's requests is for girls--not boys, as many who abhor these procedures might fear. But consider: among those cultural groups where boys are prized and girls scorned, isn't it better to simply let the parents have their way, than to doom some hapless little girls to being unwanted, or worse yet, killed? These prejudices will likely disappear within a generation, especially when the surplus boys can't find ethnically similar brides.

From: Michael Coren mcoren@westernstandard.ca
To: Karen Selick kselick@westernstandard.ca
Subject: re: What's wrong with designer babies?
Date: November 5, 2004 10:22 AM

I find it extraordinary that in your opening comments on babies and human life you fail to mention the words "mother," "father," "love" or "marriage." But you do refer to "ethnically similar brides" and "current sex selection technologies." The point is that our culture and society are on the edge of collapse and the reason has nothing to do with economics and the environment. It's to do with the decline of the traditional family. We are obsessed with sex--but terrified of the natural and beautiful consequence of the same: children. Of course many people have a preference for a girl or a boy but no mom or dad worth the name would want to use weird science and amoral technology to interfere with the natural process of procreation. This is all about the cult of selfishness; and the very last people who should have children are the selfish.

From: Karen Selick kselick@westernstandard.ca
To: Michael Coren mcoren@westernstandard.ca
Subject: re: What's wrong with designer babies?
Date: November 5, 2004 11:55 AM

What--after all these months you're still surprised that I don't say the things you would've said? They hired me to debate controversial issues with you, Michael, not to collaborate on composing Mother's Day greetings. Yes, the family is declining in influence. However, the blame falls squarely on the expanding authoritarian state--that very state you perpetually defend. It has insinuated itself into every aspect of private life--child care, education, health care, elder care--encouraging citizens of all ages to suck at the public teat, rather than turn to kinfolk for mutual assistance. You needn't employ "weird" sex selection technology if it frightens you, but when you support outlawing it, you align yourself with the statists who are undermining your beloved family. Anyhow, lots of childbirth technology is "weird" and "unnatural"--ultrasounds, fetal monitors, incubators--wanna outlaw them too? And why the gratuitous insult to many fine parents whose only offence is loving both boys and girls?


From: Michael Coren mcoren@westernstandard.ca
To: Karen Selick kselick@westernstandard.ca
Subject: re: What's wrong with designer babies?
Date: November 5, 2004 2:11 PM

It's not that you say things that I wouldn't say, but that you say things that are so terribly wrong. As for writing Mother's Day greetings, I find the idea of a libertarian dealing with every issue by the repetition of empty clich?s entirely natural! Regarding your arguments, as a parent and as a journalist, I've opposed state day care for years. But it has relatively little to do with the state itself. The fundamental issue is that we have developed an addled society where people refuse to raise their own children because they have misplaced the idea of family; it's the culture of selfishness, which, again, is why we want designer offspring. And there is nothing weird about ultrasounds because they are used to help and extend what is good and normal. Science is weird when it is exploited for unnatural ends. The state looks to the communal, the libertarian to the self, the conservative to the family.

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