This week’s article for National Catholic Register explores the seismic upheaval that has been the bio tech revolution.
We seem blind to the fact that we are living in the midst of the most astounding technological revolution the world has ever seen. Biotechnology is the umbrella term for all the advances we have made in medical know-how, and reproductive technology is the most socially revolutionary subdivision of biotechnology. To put it simply, we no longer approach the transmission of human life as a sacred mystery — but, rather, have reduced it to the status of a baby-making machine that we’ve learned how to switch on and off.
With artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion, we turn the baby-making machine off. With artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, fertility treatment and surrogate motherhood, we turn the baby-making machine on. With the right amount of money and time, we assume we can have a baby when we want one and avoid having a baby if we don’t want one.
The result is a revolution in our understanding of relationships, sexual identity, marriage and the family. For the first time in history, the human race has assumed the power to separate sexual activity from procreation. This has been a time bomb planted at the heart of the traditional family, because the traditional family — rooted in the truth of human sexuality — was about a man and woman coming together in a lifelong, loving relationship, open to procreation and raising children.
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