Sunday, October 02, 2005

Postrel on the Anti-Science Left   posted by TangoMan @ 10/02/2005 03:11:00 PM

Virginia Postrel has an informative piece in the current issue of Forbes on Canada's Leftist attack on genetic science.

U.S. scientists and their supporters tend to assume biomedical research is threatened by know-nothings on religious crusades. But as the Canadian law illustrates, the long-term threat to genetic research comes less from the religious right than from the secular left. Canada's law forbids all sorts of genetic manipulations, many of them currently theoretical. It's a crime, for instance, to alter inheritable genes.

And the law has provisions the fabled religious right never even talks about. It's a crime to pay a surrogate mother or to make or accept payment for arranging a surrogate. It's a crime to pay egg or sperm donors anything more than "receipted expenses," like taxi fares. Since eggs are used not just in fertility treatments but in research, this prohibition stifles both. . . .

You can't say the same for the antibiotech left. In liberal Canada, in fact, the law defines cloning expansively. Future procedures that might avoid religious objections would still be illegal. The goal is to stop certain research altogether.

What Postrel may not be aware of is that Canada has a law which mandates the creation of a registry to record the birth of children conceived with IVF. Bill C-13 paragraph 17 reads:

The Agency shall maintain a personal health information registry containing health reporting information about donors of human reproductive material and in vitro embryos, persons who undergo assisted reproduction procedures and persons conceived by means of those procedures.

It's odd that those who fight for reproductive rights and the privacy inherent in the very question of whether to have children or not were completely silent on the creation of an Agency to record the very reproductive choices that people are making and the notation of the children born of IVF. We're all aware that government intrusion most always starts with the collection of information, and I see no reason for government to intrude into the personal issue of reproduction, and I fear where governmental mission expansion will lead with regards to reproductive rights.

Imagine the outcry if a government Agency was started with the stated purpose of recording the birth of children born with red hair, or of Ethipoian heritage.

No explanation was offered for why children born of IVF need to be noted in a database. What sets these children apart from others, even from those who are adopted?

Postrel is right, it's the Left that poses the greater danger here.

Related: The Seeds of Star Trek in German Politics, The Conflict Within - The Left's Version of Creationism and Know thy Enemy - "Newton's Rape Manual"

Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer.