Even those who are passionately pro-choice may find this new innovation disturbing: eggs from aborted female fetuses can now be kept alive and grown in a lab, for later implantation into an infertile woman’s uterus. This means that even though a fetus has never been born, she can still be a mother.

This may be illegal in the U.K. Suzi Leather, of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, says, “It would be difficult for any child to come to terms with being created by aborted fetuses.”

Researcher Tal Biron-Shental says, “I am fully aware of the controversy about this, but probably, in some places, it will be ethically acceptable.”

The eggs can only be harvested from fetuses that are aborted after 16 weeks gestation, which is later than most abortions take place. Also, most late abortions are done because of an amniocentesis or other diagnosis of severe genetic abnormalities in the fetus, meaning the eggs might also carry the abnormality and be dangerous to use.

According to Martin Rees, this is a sign that it may be our final hour. Don’t miss Whitley’s interview with the British Astronomer Royal on Dreamland this weekend.

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