An artificial uterus or artificial womb is a hypothetical device that would allow an external pregnancyby growing a foetus outside the body of mother that would normally carry the foetus to final term.An artificial womb, as a replacement organ, would have many applications. It could be used to assist male or female couples in the development of a foetus. This can potentially be performed as a switch from a natural uterus to an artificial uterus, thereby moving the threshold of foetal viability to a much earlier stage of pregnancy. In this way, it can be regarded as a neonatal incubator with much extended functions. It could also be used for initiation of foetal development.An artificial uterus could also help make foetal surgery procedures at an early stage instead of having to postpone them until term of pregnancy.
Artificial supply and disposal
An artificial uterus, referred to as an ‘exowomb’. It would have to provide nutrients and oxygen to nurture a foetus, as well as dispose of waste material. A mother may still supply nutrients and dispose of waste products if the artificial uterus is connected to her. She may also provide immune protection against diseases to foetus.
Amazing medical benefits
The process of an ‘artificial womb baby born’ could save the lives of premature babies, help infertile couples, give gay and transgender people new fertility options and enable older parents to have children. It could offer a safer replacement to traditional pregnancy and childbirth. It could provide a healthier environment for the foetus by eliminating the risks of drugs or alcohol. It may also provides an ideal balance of nutrients, temperature, movement and sound.
An external womb and Women’s rights
It could also lead to a new equality in parenthood and consequently change the structure of human’s working and private lives. Given time, it could dismantle the gender hierarchies within the society. Given more time, it could eliminate the differences between the sexes in human biology. Once parental roles are equal, there will be no excuse for male-dominated boardrooms or political parties or much of the other inequality we see today.
Women’s rights are never more emotive than when it comes to a woman’s right to choose this optio. While pregnancy occurs inside a mother’s body, women have some control over it. But there are fundamental questions about what rights we give to embryos outside the mother’s womb. There is also the possibility of pro-life activists denoting this process as an alternative to abortion – in the worst case along with, women being forced to have their foetuses extracted and gestated outside their bodies.
One thing can be known for sure is that society will be greatly changed by ectogenesis. Baby born in artificial womb raises various risks but may at the same time offer hope for new forms of equality and healthcare – and the debate is only just getting started. It is likely that we human will have the ability to create an artificial womb within a generation or two.