Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Designer Babies Means Dead Babies

Jan 8, 2011

Life used to be seen as a gift. Now it is being demanded as a right. Up until recently every new life coming into the world was seen as a wonderful gift and a priceless grace – a cause of great celebration. But in an age of unprecedented selfishness, new biotechnologies, and designer babies, new life is seen as simply another commodity.

Just as we have luxury beyond our dreams, so that we can gut an entirely acceptable home and start over, simply because we want a change of colour scheme, so too now we can treat the greatest miracle of all – a new born baby – as just another lifestyle choice, to be received or rejected at will.

The rise of new technologies in the life sciences has meant that we can now do things which were never dreamed of even just recently. More discerning voices warned all along that the new reproductive technologies could be a real cause of concern, and at best a mixed blessing.

The fears of those who made warnings to proceed with caution are now pretty much being fully realised. We really have created a brave new world, and the greatest casualty has been those produced by it. There are now dozens of ways to artificially create human life, and with that newfound mastery of life has come a newfound contempt of it.

After all, if the manufacture of life is now no different than what we create in a factory assembly line, then both products can be treated with the same disdain and the same cavalier attitude. Both can be seen merely as the works of our own hands, and if the product is not up to scratch, then simply discard it and improve the manufacturing specs.

Thus human life is now on a par with CDs, clothing, and hairstyles. If we are tired of what we have, we can easily trade things in for something better, or simply discard the old and unwanted. We live in a throwaway age, and now human life itself is seen as just another disposable good.

Sick of the old Eagles albums? No probs. Just chuck them out, or trade them in for some Lady GaGa CDs. Unhappy with your bland colour scheme at home? No biggee. Chuck out the wrongly coloured items and redo the place to meet your new tastes.

Fed up watching a perfectly good television set when all your buddies have plasma? Nothing to worry about. Just toss it out with the other hard rubbish, and get what everyone else is having. Tired of waiting to have a daughter? Hey, don’t fret, just try another bout of IVF, and if you get those nasty unwanted boys, simply terminate them.

Am I being way too far out here? Actually, not at all. I am simply reporting what is in today’s headlines. I am simply commenting on current reality. And if this is not bad enough, just wait a few more months. I am sure we will find even more outrageous and immoral activities taking place all in the name of reproductive freedom and choice.

Here is the headline as found in today’s papers: “Couple aborts twin boys for girl”. And here is how the story begins:

“A couple so desperate for a baby girl that they terminated twin boys are fighting to choose the sex of their next child. The couple, who have three sons and still grieve for a daughter they lost soon after birth, are going to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to win the right to select sex by IVF treatment.

“They say they want the opportunity to have the baby daughter they were tragically denied. An independent panel, known as the Patient Review Panel, recently rejected the couple’s bid to choose the sex of their next child using IVF. They have gone to VCAT in a bid to have that decision overturned.

“VCAT recently ruled that it has the power to review the Patient Review Panel decision. It will hear the couple’s case in March. So determined are the couple to have a girl that they recently terminated twin boys conceived through IVF. The couple said it had been a traumatic decision to make but they could not continue to have unlimited numbers of children. If their test case fails, they say they will go to the US to conceive a girl.

“The couple, who cannot be identified, conceived their three boys naturally. The woman – in her thirties – says she loves her sons but would do anything to have a daughter. The man said: ‘After what we have been through we are due for a bit of luck. We want to be given the opportunity to have a girl.’ The woman, who is consumed by grief over the daughter who died soon after birth, admits she has become obsessed with having a daughter and it has become vital to her psychological health.”

She is obsessed alright – obsessed to the point where two perfectly healthy baby boys were killed so that she could have her wants fulfilled. Millions of people around the world would so desperately love to have these twin boys, but not this couple.

In their obsession to have what they want, it seems they will let nothing stand in their way of getting it. If perfectly healthy babies have to be killed along the way, then so be it. After all, adult selfish demands are all that count today, and nothing should stand in the way of anyone exercising their ‘choice’.

This is the predominant mindset that is found in all Western cultures today. So in that sense I do not mean to pick on this particular couple. They are simply representative of so many others who have bought the lie that the entire purpose of existence is to have your wants and demands satisfied – instantly, and at any cost.

Thus this story should not be surprising. It is fully to be expected in a culture which has placed selfishness and the immediate gratification of wants as the highest good, and anything which prevents this from occurring as the greatest evil.

This is simply Western culture in the 21st century. And a good argument can be made, as Solzhenitsyn once put it, that all this is happening because we have forgotten God. Indeed, the words of Proverbs 8:36 (God speaking) seems to nicely encapsulate all this: “all who hate me love death”.

A culture of utter and complete selfishness will always be an ugly culture which will be quite unpleasant to live in. And such a culture of necessity will always be a culture of death.

[1110 words]

27 Responses to Designer Babies Means Dead Babies

  • The article that I link to above has a voteline on this issue. Please vote:

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Absolutely spot-on, Bill. Thank you so much for showing we are not alone, that, if one is not crying alone in the desert then there is hope, a ray of light, thin may it be, is still present.
    Pete Whittaker

  • We are all given a freedom of choice and free will. We can not legislate against sin. That would be going back to Old Testament law. See 1 Corinthians 15:56 NLT and Romans 8:1-2 NIV .

    The LORD GOD is currently ushering in the greater glory of the Lord and heralding in Reveletaion 21 and Revelation 22 of the Book of Revelation. See Revelation 22:11 NLT . There is now a new earth and a new heaven. See Revelation 21:1 NLT. In other words, the holy city and the unholy city will occupy the same geographical area here on earth. Just hold on to what we have … See Revelation 2:24-25 NLT .

    Pauline Khoo

  • The people’s sin will destroy themselves. Civilisations will self-destruct and decay. Just keep ourselves pure. Help those who need help. The righteous will be saved. The time is near.

    Pauline Khoo

  • Thanks Pauline

    But with all due respect I am afraid you are missing the point here, and it seems you are not thinking all that biblically. Yes we have choice, but God has also appointed the state to curb bad choices. And he has commanded us to be salt and light in this world, and to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, and are appointed for destruction (eg., Psalm 82:2-4; Proverbs 24:11; 31:8-9). Thus we have a Christian duty and obligation to be involved in these battles for the glory of God, just as Wilberforce fought for blacks and against slavery.

    And you are wrong about law and sin. Are you saying we cannot have laws against murder, theft and rape because we are not in OT times? This is not very helpful thinking, and in fact unbiblical. All laws at heart are about morality, and about right and wrong. Again, it is God himself who appointed the state to set laws to establish righteousness and stand against evil. Read Romans 13:1-7 for starters.

    Yes we all know that eventually a new heaven and a new earth will be established. But that has nothing to do with our current responsibilities as believers today. We are to work for righteousness in the here and now, not just sit around and wait for the end of time. There is work to be done, on many levels.

    Respectfully, if the slaughter of the unborn means little to you, then can I suggest you get on your knees and ask father God to break your heart with what breaks his heart. Some believers seem to be pushing an escapist, flippant and irrelevant faith which has very little to do with Biblical Christianity. We need to be much more concerned about and involved with our world if we really want to make a difference for Christ and his Kingdom. But thanks for sharing.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I wonder what their other three boys think/feel about all this? How do you tell your kids? “Sorry, I had to kill your brothers because that is not what I wanted.” You would have to question the mental stability of such a person and are they really fit to be a parent? And if they do get a girl, where will the family focus be then? Such a sad and very disturbing situation.
    Ben Green

  • Thanks Ben

    Yes quite right – very good point. Just how will these guys feel? And what if this couple does eventually conceive through IVF, but they get twin daughters, or maybe even triplets? Will they still complain about having “unlimited numbers of children”? If so, what will they do about it? Will they tell one of the existing sons, “OK then, one of you has to go – we have too many kids now”?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I have told this story to a number of people and all question her mental health and her fitness to have any more children. Suppose her three sons learn in adulthood that their mum destroyed twin boys so that she could have a daughter to appease a selfish obsession and “save” her mental health? The mind boggles. Why couldn’t she adopt a little girl, anyway, and spare us and her family this evil?
    John Snowden

  • I’m sorry but this will sound and read harshly, but I cannot accept this woman’s statement about her inconsolable grief for a lost daughter from the past.

    Her statements and actions portray a single-minded pursuit of a goal she has established for herself.

    PS: we have lost a number of children stillborn; some we named, some we didn’t, but they will all be waiting for us in heaven.

    We remember them but we don’t grieve in the way this woman claims to, because we have a sure hope in God.

    John Angelico

  • Life is a gift from God, too precious to be thrown away. Babies are a blessing, not a throw away burden.
    Judith Bond

  • Trying to have a rest after a very full-on year with the late Brumby and Co….thank the Good Lord he is gone! Praise God! Today, I walk into Coles Essendon and I see the Herald and the headlines…I felt teary and sick…two dear little baby boys have died..I am so sick of this! Please God do something to stop this Evil! Seriously where are we heading! Help!!
    Jane Byrne

  • This Victorian guy said “We would do anything to have a girl”. That must be the understatement of the year. Then he said he hoped his luck would change. Well luck changed for the two defenceless boys they aborted – changed for the worse. However, I was pleased to see the voting on this was heavily in favour of pro-life believers.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Perhaps more grief counselling is urgently needed for this couple. They will now grieve three babies, the girl that died and the twin boys who were killed when aborted.
    Post Abortion Grief is well documented.
    My heart goes out to the three sons who are bystanders in this tragic event. How must they feel!
    The SydneyTelegraph also has a vote line and so far the NOs are winning.
    Madge Fahy

  • When I read this story this morning I found it absolutely chilling. That parents could kill their unborn twin boys because they would prefer a girl is so unbelievably goulish that I felt physically sick. To make this story worse – if that is at all possible – IVF pioneer Gab Kovacs said he couldn’t understand why this couple should be banned from having a girl – “Who is this going to harm if this couple have their desire fulfilled” he is quoted as saying. Well those two little boys who were aborted were harmed in the most brutal way unconscionable way.
    Patti Smith

  • Whenever I read reports of wanted and unwanted babies, I recall a true story I read about twenty years ago. An elderly German medical doctor living in England, spoke of his Grandfather, also a doctor, who delivered two babies (I stress not from the same mother) on the 20th April 1889 in the small town of Braunau in Austria, just across from the Inn river in Germany. One couple were somewhat upset, because there seemed to be something not quite right with their baby daughter. The other couple were thrilled with their blue eyed baby boy. He was the picture of health. If the baby girl had been born today, she would have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The doctor took an interest in the little girl and her slow development He lived in the same town. She did poorly at school, but her mother considered her to be a treasure. Coming from a very large family, she was the only one who nursed and cared for her ailing mother in the latter years of her mother’s life. As for the healthy blue eyed baby boy, about whom almost everyone was so excited, the doctor had no trouble keeping a tag on him, he was always in the news. A decorated hero in World War 1, he later went into politics. His name was Adolph Hitler.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Sickening.

    But then, when they liberalised Victoria’s abortion laws back in 2008, we all knew this was coming.

    Jereth Kok

  • This is one of the most disturbing stories I’ve read today. Every day seems to highlight a new horror show, though. Several things come to mind besides the fact she killed two children yet expects the opportunity to have another one.

    The first one is that there are doctors who will do what she asks, while knowing she aborted the two children just because of their sex.

    The second is that she and her husband seem to consider themselves to be worthy people and good parents (who deserve a female child) despite the fact they just aborted two healthy babies.

    Third, although abortion itself is a horrible thing, people used to feel shame over having one. This couple feel no shame.

    I just read this morning that 39% of all pregnancies in NYC end in abortion.

    Kendra Mallock, US

  • Has it really come to this? Gene Ethics Director Bob Phelps believes the couple fighting for the right to choose the sex (female) of their next child “sound like good parents”. (HS 8/1) Having had their twin sons killed… “terminated” if we must adhere to semantics…because they were boys? Had they done this a day after they were born, they’d be in jail! He suggests the couple could pursue overseas adoption. That’s right Bob, the elephant in the room, remember? Because of Victoria’s annual abortion-up-to-birth carnage of 20,000 odd babies, an overseas baby would be their only hope. “IVF pioneer” Gab Kovacs is quoted as believing it wouldn’t harm anyone if VCAT allowed the couple to sex select their baby. He should stick to his job. He’s an obstetrician/gynaecologist, not a sociologist. Given his responsibility is to babies as well as their mothers, he should be more concerned about the fatal harm done their twin babies. That this social engineering is being decided by unelected tribunals will be of concern to democracy loving Victorians as well as those respecters of human rights already anguished by Victoria’s pitiless abortion legislation.
    Denise M Cameron

  • The inherent self contradiction in this couple’s story is that they grieve over the loss of an unborn daughter, but treat unborn twin sons as merely a clump of cells.

    One has value and is a person to grieve while the others do not. It seems very selective and subjective and not all that rational.

    Lennard Caldwell

  • I am finding that with each new “News” story I am hearing,I cannot comprehend that I am not living in some demented nightmare called “Society”… As a good friend of mine once said “Let us NOT sacrifice our Children on the Alter of lifestyle”.
    Kim Cannan

  • Thanks Bill.

    It would seem that the couple concerned are blinded to what they have give up in an attempt to get what they may never be able to achieve.

    I wonder how often we ourselves are guilty of the same act, not necessarily with babies but other things we may have been given or circumstances we may find ourselves in such as the spouse we have or the job we have.

    One day we will all have to give account. It will be interesting to see then what was intended for us and what could have been if only…

    Your comments always cause me to examine my own actions and interests/self interests. Thank you and keep up the good work.

    Richard Jardine., Box Hill, Vic

  • Ben makes an excellent point about the indefensible stance of the couple “who want a girl”. As I suspected the twin boys they had terminated were conceived through IVF treatment, which I understand is stressful and long-drawn-out with waiting to get this expensive treatment. Their selfishness is monstrous but they can’t see it. As Albert Einstein said there are two ways to look at life – either everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle. Too many people in western culture choose the latter and what diminished, ignoble creatures such self absorption makes them.
    Rachel Smith

  • This is such an extremely heartbreaking situation. Two broken people who cannot see that their decision to abort their baby boys will compound their grief further and cause them to become more broken as they now have to deal with the death of three babies – albeit eventually. As commented earlier by others: How and when will they tell their other children? When their other boys find out, what will be said and how will it impact upon their lives and current or future relationships. This is such a sad situation that my heart goes out to everyone involved even though I cannot condone the decisions of this couple in any way.

    It is very sad that they lost their baby girl and I cannot begin to understand the effects of this upon their lives and their relationship with each other. This couple needs assistance to help them reconcile with the fact that they have lost a child. They need to be able to grieve properly and get through their grief to the point of reconciliation with their loss. Only when this happens, will they be able to move on with their lives.

    Obviously the IVF process needs further review to ensure that recipients actually get what they need rather than what they perceive they need or desire. What I don’t understand is:

    – Given this couple’s circumstances, why it wasn’t mandatory that they should have gone through counselling before IVF was agreed upon. It’s not good enough that they only meet the physical and monetary requirements as it takes more than physical exertion and money to bring children up. Regardless of what you believe spiritually, parenting needs emotional stability as well.

    – How is it that a couple who is able to conceive naturally are now able to access the services of IVF. Surely IVF is there to assist those who are unable to conceive naturally? In order to access IVF, have they actually taken the place that would normally be offered to a couple who could not conceive?

    Putting all this aside and given any other circumstances, this would be labelled murder and punishable by law. Let’s stop playing God and start behaving like people – at this stage, it is apparent that this couple needs serious counselling not a baby girl. A replacement child will never be the child you lost but a replacement. If they are able to have a baby girl in the future, how would she feel knowing she is only a commodity and not a welcomed precious gift?

    Joy Bryant

  • One other thing I should have mentioned earlier is that God’s heart is broken over this situation. If only the couple knew that if they would come God, he would not only forgive them but heal their broken hearts and their brokenness. Then they would be ready to receive the precious gift of a little girl to complete their family.
    Joy Bryant

  • Excellent points John Snowden and Denise M Cameron!!!
    Paula Mari Pike

  • Dear Sir.
    There is one piece of Good News, Jesus will be here sooner than most people can possibly imagine, I feel that there is less than 15 years left for this age. The problem is that we do not have much time to reach these people with the Gospel of Jesus. I think that the best way of reaching people is to give them the gospel and teaching others to do the same. Too many so called Christians are like the Church in Laodicea. I have not seen too many churches that encourage and edify evangelists, that is the problem.
    Among other other satanic organizations are all false religions that murder over 150,000 Christians world wide, and we have Gutless politicians who wont say boo to these countries. In Afghanistan, a man converted to Christianity and was ordered by the state to convert to Muhammadanism or be executed. Will the real Christians please stand up and be counted
    Eric Zumbo

  • I think that anyone that can kill perfectly healthy twin boys should be dined their baby girl. It’s not right to do such a thing. Its murderess and i agree to have a child is a gift and you are blessed to have one. Some people can’t even have children so when people go and kill perfectly healthy boys is horrible because maybe they should have thought what if she can’t have any more kids. Or what about the people out there that can’t have kids and want them. Just think of that!
    Chelsea Marie

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