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The New Face Of Eugenics?: AI To Be Used To Sort Human Embryos Into Categories Of ‘Fit’ And ‘Unfit’ For IVF

On Monday, I wrote an article highlighting a horrifying story surrounding a surrogate mom who, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, was pressured to abort the baby she was hired to carry. In that blog, I claimed that this “baby was treated as nothing more than a commodity to be had or discarded at the will of two adults”—but that terrible story is not the only example of this commodification of children.

Eugenics Software?

The Christian Post recently highlighted a new technology called EMA that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to “rul[e] out which [embryos] are unsuitable for a successful pregnancy.” So this new technology uses AI to sort through already-created embryos to determine which ones show the most “promise” and should be implanted inside the womb. What is this software looking for? Well, EMA “scores them based on features such as genetic abnormalities, gender or the odds of successful implantation.”

In other words, this technology—which is coming to the US soon—looks at embryos and scores and sorts them based on whether or not they are likely to have any genetic abnormalities that may result in health problems or developmental conditions, whether they are boys or girls, or whether they look likely to continue developing once they’ve been implanted. It’s nothing short of evil eugenics!

So Last Century?

The popularity of eugenics (the idea of people being supposedly “well-born”) among the elites and “thinkers” of the twentieth century resulted in the forced sterilization of thousands of Americans who were considered “unfit” to pass along their genes. It also heavily contributed to atrocities in Europe, such as the Nazi Holocaust. For many who know about this dark chapter in US history, eugenics (promoted by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood) is considered to have been an awful practice we left behind in the twentieth century. But it’s alive and well—and this sorting of tiny humans into “fit” and “unfit,” “wanted” and “unwanted” is one of the new faces of eugenics.

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And don’t be deceived—this new AI technology isn’t the first to sort embryos this way. Fertility doctors and embryologists do this every single day during the majority of IVF (in vitro fertilization) procedures as these specialists and parents decide which embryos to implant. This new tech just allows for more “accuracy” and efficiency in the process.

Adult Wishes—More Important than Children’s Lives?

It’s another example of what I wrote on Monday—“We live in . . . a culture of death that views the wishes of adults as more important than the lives and well-being of children.” The adult desire to have a “healthy” or able-bodied child or a child that is a boy or a girl is considered more important than the well-being of the human lives that were created in a petri dish. So often those babies who are deemed “unfit” or “undesirable” are simply discarded like medical waste or they are put into storage in a freezer, never to be given the chance to continue developing (though some families do adopt these embryos!). Again, it’s the commodification of human life!

As I wrote on Monday, what a difference it makes when we start with a biblical worldview! It’s the biblical worldview and the truth that we are made in the very image of God (Genesis 1:27) that gives each person—regardless of level of ability or development, gender, age, health, or any other factor—value and dignity.

It’s the biblical worldview that understands that each person is made fearfully and wonderfully by God (Psalm 139:13–14), not as commodities that we can choose or discard at will, but as precious persons knitted together by him and loved by him.

Yes, what a difference a biblical worldview makes!

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