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Far from freeing women from the ‘tyranny of reproduction’, new technologies seemed to be enforcing the need for women to reproduce – creating a reproductive imperative that held that motherhood was the natural state for all women, whatever the cost.
By the start of the new millennium, the development of genetic screening technologies made it scientifically possible for women to decide whether or not to carry a foetus with an ‘undesirable’ gene to term, and in December 2002, the space-alien worshipping sect, the Raaelians, claim to have cloned the first human baby, whom they named Eve.
In 2003, Stanford University’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology web site posited “it is only a matter of time before ectogenesis [gestation in an artificial womb] becomes feasible” (para 1) and a Sydney headline proclaimed “Meet Stephanie, A Designer Baby” (Apr 28 2003:1).
The Nash family never discarded healthy embryos; instead they saved the embryos so they could have another child in the future, which they eventually did.
It is also important to note that both parents were carriers for fanconi anemia, which means if they had another child via a natural pregnancy, the child have would have a 25% chance of being afflicted with the genetic disease.
Just six years later, Louise Brown, the first ‘test tube baby’ was born in England, and in 1980, the second, Candice Reed, was born in Australia.