The End of Sex As We Know It
William Luse on the Implications of Cloning
If the technology of cloning can in time be reliably applied to humans, the clone and his progenitor will be bound together by more than biological heritage. The clone will live beneath the dual shadows cast by a terrible knowledge: that not only is his life—bereft of a unique biological identity—not fully his own, but also that he was manufactured for the purpose of reproducing desirable traits identified in advance, as some now seek abortion to sex-select a child, or as some women seek insemination with the thawed-out sperm of a refrigerated genius. How much we are affected by this terrible knowledge will be determined by how much we care about the clone.
A society that can sit by while upwards of 30 million of its children are aborted, while thousands are discarded in errant attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF), while thousands more are preserved in a frozen limbo and made ready for use, sale, or disposal at their donors’ convenience, is not a society that will blanch for long at the idea of reproductive cloning. The technological assault on the mechanics of sexual reproduction and the ethical deconstruction surrounding the disposition of its unwanted consequences have been underway for quite some time, and we have managed to absorb them with relative ease.
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