“The United States is the Wild West of the fertility industry,” Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, told Pew’s Stateline this week. It’s a frequent sentiment regarding the expanding business of creating and selling human bodies and body products. The longread provoked a number of other questions about the uncharted territory we are now entering with very little discussion.
It’s a subject already affecting about one in ten women, and given the cultural push to delay motherhood that often leads to women delaying it beyond their natural fertility, likely to affect more soon: “The CDC reports that about 12 percent of women of childbearing age have used infertility services and that 1.5 percent of all infants born in the U.S. are conceived using [assisted reproductive technologies].”
1. What’s the Relationship Between Selling Body Parts and Big Data?
The Stateline article notes that Utah is one of the few states to have enacted restrictions on the fertility industry. It recently passed a law giving children conceived by anonymous sperm donation the right to access their biological father’s medical history. This is one of the obvious negative consequences of producing children like appliances—because humans aren’t appliances.