Re: Cryopreserving the unborn

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Sun Jan 16 2000 - 21:38:45 MST

On Sunday, January 16, 2000 8:59 AM Zeb Haradon
> >I don't know if anyone has thought of this before, but how about getting
> >Right to Life individuals to support abortion by cryopreserving aborted
> >fetuses? Surely, cryopreserving them would be cheaper. If we can get
> >to fund this sort of thing, it would be a way to both spread cryonics and
> >defuse a very deep conflict in Western societies.
> >
> >Perhaps we could analyze this problem from two angles. One would be
> >technical feasability. The other is whether Right to Life groups would
> >willing to support -- financially, politically, or morally -- this
> I doubt they would support it, it's too "weird" and "un-natural".

I'm glad one of us is sure. I'm not. I'm going to ask the more rational
pro-Lifers what they think. I've already sent an email on this to Doris
Gordon of Libertarians for Life. (I think she's an atheist, so she's not
basing her antiabortion stance on the Bible or some religious doctrine.)

> Besides,
> many of the women getting the abortions may be unwilling to participate,
> which is their right to decide.

True, but this is beside the point. Women who don't want to choose to
cryopreserve would just do what they do now. No difference. But what about
the woman who doesn't want to be pregnant, but feels qualms about aborting?
This would give her another option. It might also give the woman whose
pregnancy can't, for medical reasons, be carried to term an alternative to
current abortion which leads to the death of the fetus. (For the record,
I'm pro-Choice -- just to avoid any blanket statements about me.)

> Many pro-life people already offer to adopt
> a mother's children if she bears them instead of getting an abortion, and
> these same pro-life people would presumably be the ones raising the
> once they were revived

I'm aware, but this is tangential. Surely, this is what a lot of pro-Lifers
want, but giving them another option -- aside from no abortion or abortion
with guaranteed death for the fetus -- might sway others over. If it does
this with enough people, it might be a means to fund more cryonics research.
Also, a way to make cryonics more mainstream.

> (and who wants that? They'd be psychologically safer
> being raised by pedophiles).

I don't agree with the parenthetic comment. That's just stereotyping
people. I know right to lifers who are decent parents. Surely, they are
not perfect, but they are not "psychologically" worse than "pedophiles." (I
might also quibble with pedophile, since the term is used so broadly in
America. Someone who is 18 and has sex with a 17 year old is considered a
pedophile and pigeonholed in the same category as the 39-year old man who
rapes 10-year old boys and girls. But that's another discussion.)

> Furthermore, I think some abortion procedures
> are destructive to the fetus, so it's not feasible.

Naturally, if someone wanted to fund a cryopreservation and the mother were
willing to go along with it, they would not use a destructive procedure.
Right? Am I getting through here?:)

> But, scientifically, you've inspired in me an interesting point. A
> fertilized egg can be cryopreserved, implanted into a womb, and develops
> into a child with no problems. So, I propose that we start here and work
> Start with a mouse zygote, the procedure for cryopreservation is already
> adequate, but could be perfected. Once it's perfected, allow the zygote to
> develop a little further and see if we can still do it, work a little more
> until we can develop something after 2 or 3 days development.. etc.. until
> we can cryopreserve a fully mature mouse. The benefit of this approach is
> that you'd be bringing up problems one at a time.

I'm glad to hear I've done something positive for Zeb. I agree with Zeb's
take on this as breaking the problem down. (This has political problems
inherent in it -- i.e., that embryonic research is being curtailed more and

Daniel Ust

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