By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
Nine womb-less women in Sweden received transplants from relatives in hopes that they will be able to give birth to their own children.
Premise for a sci-fi blockbuster movie? Nope. True story. You can read the article here.
I read the article with mixed feelings. I felt so sad for the recipients, having a sense of what they’d been through to get to this point. I thought about the ethics and wondered if, maybe, their lack of wombs isn’t part of Nature’s plan for population control (yes, I know that’s not a nice thought, but it’s honest). I wondered who would put themselves through this crazy experimental procedure, then I thought about all of the women I know who would drink, inject, or believe anything in hopes of having their miracle babies. I wondered if I had been in their shoes, if I had the means and opportunity, would I have signed up?
Maybe this will be the answer to so many women’s desires to have children, and I hope for the best possible outcome. At the same time, I fear what kind of new baby-making industry (and related scams) might result from success.
I hope women—and their partners—read the fine print and weigh the possible win with the possible side effects and risks: blood clots, high blood pressure, diabetes, some types of cancer, transplant rejection. I also found the closing line of the article chilling: “…there are no guarantees (that the women will have babies)…what is certain is that they are making a contribution to science.”
Both my husband and I had to have surgery in the last six months. We are lucky to be healthy, but I have to tell you, recovery was a bitch. Elective surgery? No way. Possibly sacrifice my health to contribute to science? Um, no. But to maybe have a baby? Maybe.
What do you think?
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is mostly at peace with her childfree status.