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graphic of Petri dish, hospital bed, stethoscope, uterus

A recent press release I received got me thinking about how much we really care about kids. The press alert came from the Coalition to Stop Designer Babies, which is organizing internationally to oppose efforts by some scientists and would-be parents who want to overturn legal bans and prohibitions on Human Genetic Modification (HGM).

A so-called designer baby is defined as “an infant whose genes or other cellular components have been altered by practitioners at the embryo or pre-embryo stage, ostensibly for the purpose of avoiding passing on genetic diseases, or making babies that are smarter, taller or stronger,” according to the Humane Biotech organization.

Coalition spokesperson Dr. Daniel Papillon, a French scientist, notes “There is no unmet medical need for this technology, but the risks are immense. … It would increase ableism and entrench social inequality.” Like other opponents of this technology, he notes “HGM is the latest high-tech version of eugenics,” the belief that the human race could be improved if reproduction was controlled and only those who were deemed worthy of being born or of reproducing, should...