Like me, you might assume couples who pursue IVF (in vitro fertiliation) or other forms of assisted reproduction have spent years trying to conceive while suffering through the unique torture of watching other people effortlessly – or accidentally – conceive. While there are many of those to be sure, apparently many others now approach the process more like online shopping. They demand healthy babies who are created to their exact specifications, and if things don't go according to plan, they resolve the problem as if it were the same as clicking "delete" or "remove from cart" -- cancel, return, or replace. Some abort, some sue for damages and some swap out the undesired product for the one they want.
For example, there was a couple who aborted an innocent and healthily developing baby because a lab error produced an embryo who was different from the one they ordered. A Massachusetts couple made headlines for aborting a six-month-preborn child after they discovered that the implanted embryo was not biologically related to them. A Los Angeles-based couple sued their fertility clinic for an embryo mix-up, but chose to swap babies with the parents who received their genetic embryo, three months after both of the couples’ babies were born. And a lesbian couple sued their New York-based clinic for mistakenly implanting a male embryo after the couple had specifically requested a female embryo. One of the mothers was the victim of sexual assault and had extreme anxiety at the thought of having a male so close to her. The clinic offered to abort, but they chose to continue the pregnancy and fortunately, with intense counseling, she managed to bond with the boy.
But the most horrific result of the online shopping-for-offspring culture is the "leftovers." Thousands of frozen embryoes in limbo when their "creators" walked away from the high cost of storage, and the caretakers of those facilities don't know what to do with them. If these unborn humans are just property, can they be destroyed? And if not, who's responsible for their care after they are abandoned?
All of these issues are a direct outgrowth of a culture who views children as a commodity one adds to one's life, in lieu of, or in addition to, pets. Before we became a post-Judeo-Christian nation, children were considered a gift from God, entrusted to their parents, who in turn were held responsible by the state for their safeguarding, all with the common goal of producing good citizens. But now, it's like nailing Jell-o to the wall to get a consensus now of a child's role in our society. Starting with, "When does life begin?" but continuing through every social strata there seems to be confusion with, "Whose children are they?"
Collectivist advocates claim children are "theirs" to indoctrinate when they are in the classroom or university, and rail against parents who defend their rights to raise their children according to their own values. Consider the outrage over Florida's Parental Rights In Education bill, or that President Biden recently told teachers, "They are not somebody else's children. They're yours when you're in the classroom." These instances both happened not long after the head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten said, “What we are trying to do is make sure that, you know, we educate kids, we keep them safe, we keep them welcome, and we help them learn how to think — not what to think, but how to think — and have the tools so they can discern between fact and fiction.” And, of course, thanks to @LibsOfTokTock on twitter, we know there's hours of videos of radical teachers describing in their own words how they ideologically groom their students.
It's a big job raising children, and doing a poor job hurts everyone from the family itself to the employers and communities who will co-exist with them down the road. But it does seem like the most basic First Step of all is to see every human life as infinitely valuable -- someone who has never existed before and will never exist again, worthy of dignity and protection from the moment of conception until natural death. If we could all agree that it is in our own best interest to see ALL HUMANS in that way, perhaps we can pull out of this downward spiral as a society.