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posted by martyb on Monday November 06 2017, @02:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the "tomorrow"-give-or-take-nine-months dept.

Richard Paulson, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, has said that transgender women could give birth as soon as "tomorrow" using donated wombs:

Those born with male assigned sex organs cannot conceive children biologically; however, this may soon change, at least according to one fertility expert. Transgender women—those who were assigned male at birth—could give birth as early as "tomorrow," Richard Paulson, an obstetrician-gynecologist and the president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, said, according to The Telegraph. Thanks to advances in transgender medicine, donated wombs may be able to help transgender women conceive on their own, Paulson said during the society's annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Since at least 1999, transgender men have successfully given birth to healthy children, The Washington Post [archive] reports. More recently, Trystan Reese, a transgender man and his partner Biff Chaplow, gave birth to a healthy child last August. Despite their successes, the process is much more complex for transgender women. Primarily because a man's pelvis is a different shape than a woman's, making the birth much more complicated. Still, Paulson insists that it's possible, but notes the birth must be conducted via cesarean section.

"There would be additional challenges, but I don't see any obvious problem that would preclude it," Paulson said. "I personally suspect there are going to be trans women who are going to want to have a uterus and will likely get the transplant."

Only eight children have been born worldwide to mothers (born female) who had a uterine transplant, with the first such birth occurring in 2014. As we have reported, the first attempted uterine transplant in the U.S. failed last year.

Here's a 2016 article on the topic at Scientific American, which notes that surrogacy (which can have its own problems) is illegal in some countries. The article raises the question of unnecessary risks to the patient, as well as unknown risks posed to the fetus by a "potentially unstable biological environment" modulated by hormone treatments.

Not mentioned: the prospect of creating an artificial embryo using the DNA of two biological men, which is expected to be possible imminently (predicted by researchers two years ago to be available in 2017). Since men have both an X and Y sex chromosome, they should be able to have either a son or a daughter using such a technique.

If an artificial womb is developed in the future and it has a lesser chance of causing complications than a traditional pregnancy, would it be unethical for a woman to conceive a child naturally? Fetal lambs have been grown for up to four weeks in an artificial womb, so we may get an answer in the coming decades.

Also at the Sacremento Bee.


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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday November 06 2017, @03:52PM (4 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday November 06 2017, @03:52PM (#593116) Journal

    Yes, and this is hopefully how things will be in the future: humans won't have kids at all, and instead, all new humans will be grown artificially in factories, run by the government. There was an excellent book about this written in the late 40s, called "Brave New World", showing how this society would be so much better than our own. If it doesn't sound better to you, ask yourself: how many divorced people do you know, and how many single parents do you know?

    The government could monopolize the technology, or it could be used down at the individual and small group level. It all depends on how cheap it gets and how vigilant people are as we ride into this brave new future.

    Synthetic biology is tough to regulate compared to say, nuclear proliferation.

    Hopefully, in the natural-childbirth-free future, most or all humans will simply be female. How many female mass murderers have you heard of? How much violent crime is committed by women, compared to men?

    It is entirely possible (or at least technically possible) that the world could move in an all-female direction. But it is debatable [soylentnews.org] whether or not eliminating violence is good for the group. Society currently frowns upon the violent tendencies that lead to bottled up rage and mass murder (predominantly among males). But if civilization regresses back to the Dark Ages, violent and strong males will become more valuable, be given plenty of outlets for their rage, and could outcompete females. Don't think it could happen? Civilization regression is one of the many explanations thrown around for the Fermi paradox.

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @05:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @05:26PM (#593177)

    Society currently frowns upon the violent tendencies that lead to bottled up rage and mass murder (predominantly among males). But if civilization regresses back to the Dark Ages, violent and strong males will become more valuable, be given plenty of outlets for their rage, and could outcompete females. Don't think it could happen?

    We're already seeing the beginnings of this, it's just that the so-called "progressives" (by which I mean SJW regressives) are too stupid to realise that the light and salvation at the end of their wonder tunnel is commonly called "patriarchy".

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday November 06 2017, @05:34PM (2 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday November 06 2017, @05:34PM (#593180)

    But if civilization regresses back to the Dark Ages, violent and strong males will become more valuable, be given plenty of outlets for their rage, and could outcompete females.

    Maybe, it depends on how much regression there is. There's countless women in armed forces units worldwide (just ask the Kurds), so women have proven they're fully able to use violence when they need to, they just don't turn into insane mass-murderers (I can't think of a single incident of this, except for the recent child bride in Pakistan, but she wasn't attempting to murder dozens, just her forced husband, and she used poison; there's also an incident in TX where some woman killed her kids and shot at her husband before the police killed her. But there's no case I've ever heard of of a woman mass-murdering numerous strangers intentionally). And a man's generally superior strength is no match for a .223 round. So as long as people have guns in this dystopian future, men aren't going to have that much of an advantage, if any.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @05:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06 2017, @05:40PM (#593187)

      But there's no case I've ever heard of of a woman mass-murdering numerous strangers intentionally

      You probably [independent.co.uk] definately [wikipedia.org] have!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 07 2017, @04:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 07 2017, @04:38AM (#593472)

      But there's no case I've ever heard of of a woman mass-murdering numerous strangers intentionally.

      Stories of killer nurses appear regularly. Quite a few of them are women.