Aggregated News

Illustration by Don Button

"Congratulations, it's a Viking!" shouts a Danish sperm-bank advertisement in a recent fertility journal.

"Donor Egg Immediately Available," reads the full-page ad in The New York Times Magazine by the Genetics & IVF Institute. "These donors include many Doctoral Donors in advanced degree programs, and numerous other egg donors with special accomplishments, talents or ethnicity."

"Are you pregnant and want to know if you're having a boy or girl?" solicits the online ad for the Baby Gender Mentor home DNA-testing kit available from Pregnancy.com.

Such are but a few of the marketing enticements and procreative choices luring today's parents-to-be. While some people warn against the dangers of a new "consumer eugenics," such ads make it clear we are already considerably down that road. Whether that's a good or a bad thing depends upon one's perspective.

"Eugenics"--a word that for many sums up the evil of control of human reproduction. Over the past few years, the dark history of the eugenics movement in California and elsewhere, including Nazi Germany, has been retrieved from decades of collective amnesia. Still, few know...