Volume > Issue > The Baby-Making Industry

The Baby-Making Industry

GUEST COLUMN

By Michael S. Rose | September 2007
Michael S. Rose is Web Editor and Book Review Editor of the NOR. His books include Goodbye, Good Men and Ugly as Sin.

A deluge of recent news items over the past year calls to mind the irritatingly memorable words of Saturday Night Live‘s Doug and Wendy Whiner (played by Joe Piscopo and Robin Duke): “We want our own ba-byyy!!” Since the couple can’t seem to conceive a child of their own, the doctor, played by Ron Howard, suggests the Whiners try adoption:

Doug Whiner: I’m the last of the Whine-rsss! Doc-tor, my genes must live onnn.

Wendy Whiner: Is-n’t there some-thing you can do-o-o? I want to be a moth-errr!

Doug Whiner: And I want to be a fath-errr!

Whiners: We want to be par-entsss!

Harried by the couple’s insufferable whining, the doctor then suggests artificial insemination using a surrogate mother.

Doctor: (sticking his fingers in his ears) We take Doug’s sperm, insert in an egg from Wendy, plant it in a surrogate mother, and, BOOM, you got a Whiner!

That was 25 years ago. If written today, the baby-on-demand skit might have taken a different direction — one of many, in fact. Since 1982, when this episode was produced, the artificial-procreation industry has burgeoned. Infertility treatments are now a multi-billion-dollar industry, and have produced embryo banks, fertility brokers, and even baby farms. At the same time, the whining from infertile couples and single women (and even single men) seems an awful lot like a Saturday Night Live parody. This whining reflects the idea that everyone has a right to a baby — whether one’s own baby or not — and to have it on demand.

Enjoyed reading this?

READ MORE! REGISTER TODAY

SUBSCRIBE

You May Also Enjoy

A “Deeper Understanding” of the Priesthood?

No temporal or civilizational events can override the sacramental necessity of the Catholic priesthood’s being reserved to men.

The Bioethics of Fertility & Gender

The Church stands as a bulwark against sexual madness, insisting that sexual identity is ontological, a permanent “biological reality informed by a rational soul in each person.”

Can Thomism Save Science?

No longer capable of the clear perception of order, goodness, and intelligibility, our culture has reduced morality to relativism, a utilitarian calculus devoid of true reason.