Forced pregnancy laws are anti-semitic

Comments

3 comments posted
The church, the state, and the womb

Reproductive technology is growing more sophisticated by the day. The United States has always led the way in new technologies. However, given the strength of conservative Christians, this may be one time that other nations will develop these technologies whether the United States participates, or not.

It is even more ironic since half the health care dollars spent in the world are spent in the United States.

Looking back through history, when religion puts its hand into science, the tendency is to put on the brakes. Galileo Galilei was put under house arrest by the church.

Since, like money, does not know international boundaries. Professor Debora Spar of the Harvard Business School recently pointed out in a videotaped seminar on reproductive technology that what seems to happen is this: If a science develops in one nation, that nation's ethical/world view will influence the implementation of the technology.

For example, if China takes the lead in reproductive science, over the long haul reproductive science would reflect Chinese values as Chinese science would win out.

If the United States treats an embryo as a "person," and other nations do not, the nations that do not - over the long haul - will be the ones who dominate the technology and in the end will have the final say in the ethics.

Imposing Christian values on folks in South Dakota, or even in the United States, can probably fly short-term, but in the long run if other nations pursue reproductive technology, unfettered by religious interpretations and influences, these centers will thrive.

Christianity does not have a particularly strong record in science.

There is a statistic I am still mulling. Richard Rhodes wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning non-fiction book, "The Making of the Atomic Bomb." Of the scientists who perfected the bomb, 48% were Jewish, 49% were Protestants, 3% were Roman Catholic. In fact, many of the Jews were from Eastern Hungary - who had fled under Hitler - so that some of those at Los Alamos joked that Hungarians were actual Martians who had landed.

Ideological purity at the expense of facts is a losing proposition.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 4 March 2006 - 11:46am
High Technology
Reproductive technology is growing more sophisticated by the day. The United States has always led the way in new technologies. However, given the strength of conservative Christians, this may be one time that other nations will develop these technologies whether the United States participates, or not.

Slate's William Saletan offers some interesting thoughts in this direction.

--|PW|--

pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 4 March 2006 - 12:27pm
Surely America does not want to be a backwater

Those who believe an embryo has "rights" are trying to allow states to restrict choice. But Slate does not really touch on the international implications.

When quasi-religious views are turned into laws, what I think we'll find is that people will vote with their feet.

I do agree that the Christian victory might galvanize moderates and progressives. To your point, pennywit, the Progressives may get away from using the Courts and go for legislation.

On the other hand, the train has pulled out of the station and reproductive technology will be framed largely outside the United States, as will be the ethics.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 4 March 2006 - 1:00pm