Mary Shelley meets Margaret Attwood


A uterus vase. Rather cool I thought, found here:
purecontemporary.blogs.com/behind_the_curtains/2008/03/uterus-vase.html

Anyway, today’s shock-horror that I read in the paper is that of human uterine transplants becoming a realistic proposition.

Childless women ‘could get womb transplants next year’

Womb transplants that would allow childless women to have babies could be available as early as next year, a leading researcher said last night.

Following successful animal experiments, doctors are ready to implant women with healthy wombs from donors.

The forecast will bring hope to the thousands of women of childbearing age who are born without a womb or have had it removed because of disease.

But critics warned that the breakthrough erodes the sanctity of life and questioned its safety.

The prediction comes from one of the world’s leading pioneers in female organ transplants, Professor Mats Brannstrom of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, who has spent more than a decade perfecting the complex surgical techniques needed for a womb transplant.

His team have succeeded in implanting donated wombs in mice, rats, sheep and pigs and are now hoping to achieve the same success in women.

A British team, from Hammersmith Hospital in London, have also been developing womb transplants and have carried out successful experiments on rabbits. The only human womb transplant so far took place in Saudi Arabia in 2000, but the donated organ failed after four months.

The British and Swedish researchers believe this was because of the complexity of connecting the new womb to the body’s blood supply.

But in the latest issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, Professor Brannstrom said: ‘During the last decade, there has been considerable progress in surgical techniques.’

The professor told the Daily Mail that he expects womb transplants to be carried out as early as next year, at one of ten hospitals around the world.

The transplant would only be temporary.

The long-term dangers of the drugs needed to prevent rejection would mean that the new womb would have to be removed after one or two pregnancies.

Susan Seenan, of the patient support group Infertility Network UK, said: ‘Women unable to conceive and carry their own baby face real heartache, and womb transplants may be one way of helping them.

‘However a great deal of thought and discussion on all the issues would be required.’
Josephine Quintavalle, of campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘I think it is going to be really hard to prove that this is safe, and the experiment is not so much on the woman having the transplant but on the baby she is carrying.

‘We have to understand how difficult it is for some people who cannot have children but we can’t start this mentality of there always being an answer.’

Did anyone else have the knee-jerk creepies out of this story?

Apart from the obvious ‘if you can’t bear children, just accept it’ and ‘if the NHS is so strapped for cash, how can they justify funding stuff that is not life-preserving or life-enhancing’, my brain immediately recalls the long history in modern gynaecological medicine that has included thousands upon thousands of unnecessary hysterectomies.

How easy it would be, under the existing medical climate of ‘whipping it all out’ (and women going along with this unquestioningly) for the medical profession to perform even more unnecessary hysterectomies in order to supply these uterine transplants? There have already been quite a few scandals within the IVF field with regard to ova/embryo surplus used as discount schemes.

We are already subjugated on the basis of our biological function, I cannot see this new transplant technology as benefiting women at all.

Except maybe M2Ts. M2Ts already fetish women’s reproductive functions, including having fake periods, using tampons up their butt, all in order to “feel more girly/sissie”. I have a post in the pipeline for this fetish, it is worthy as a standalone.

None of this technology ever benefits women, even financially. The disparity of contribution risk vs payment is seen in sperm/ova donation. A dude wanks into a cup, no risk to him, and gets $15 for his troubles. For a woman to donate ova, she must endure fertility drugs that muck up her natural hormone balance for months, then go through invasive surgery for the extraction – even laparoscopies require general anaesthetic, and are not without risk (like puncturing other organs, potential death). For going through all that, the woman gets her medical expenses covered (whoopty-doo) and not much more than pocket money, if anything, for her troubles. Surrogate mothers sometimes get paid reasonable sums, but in a number of countries such payments are illegal, with only medical expenses being allowed to be paid.

Nor does plentiful supply of women, or scarce supply of women, ever alter their ‘value‘. Either way, females are treated like shit and devalued.

I like what one commenter said on The Daily Mail article:

Are they catering for women who want to get pregnant (as opposed to becoming mothers) now?? My uterus has never been used – I carry a donor card, but I’ll firmly oppose this particular organ being donated!!
– Magda, Paris, France, 26/3/2011 10:14

As the owner of another nulliparous uterus, me too.

20 thoughts on “Mary Shelley meets Margaret Attwood

  1. Mary Sunshine

    I’ll tell you right now, from having carried and naturally birthed my daughter, that there is a huge amount of afferent nervous system stuff going on in the uterus which they will *never* be able to connect.

    I felt all kinds of stuff going on in my uterus during and after pregnancy. An needless to say during!!! OUCH !!! natural childbirth. These women and SCAMS will *not* feel a child moving inside. These children will *not* be growing in their “mother’s” own womb. They will *not* feel the agonies of childbirth.

    You wanna talk about blood supply? Musculature, connection through ligaments to the pelvic interior?

    Franken-shit, Franken-shit, Franken-shit.

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  2. Sargasso Sea

    Okay, I like to *yell* BRAINZ! anytime some M2T fool claims to have a gendered brain [sic] because they are just Femmezombies feeding on femininity after all.

    But this scenario inspires me to *yell* WOMBZ! I see a pack of twanz grave robbing uteri under a full moon complete with scudding clouds.

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  3. Sargasso Sea

    And of course it’s some fucking man doktor saving the baybee-less laydees from a fate worse than hell…

    Mary Sunshine is right. All that stuff is actually connected to us almost as if it is a natural part of our bodies!!1! Heck, I STILL feel things going on with my uterus and I don’t even have it anymore.

    Phantom Limb Sensation = had to have had it (limb or organ) in. the. first. place.

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  4. joy

    This is chilling. Now there is no excuse for a woman not to bear children.

    Don’t want pregnancy because you know the risks involved? You have tacophobia, head to your local shrink and he’ll fix you up with some drugs, talk therapies, and other invasive techniques.*

    Can’t get pregnant? You are infertile, head to your local quack and get a uterine transplant.

    * I’m thinking the “dilators” used on born-women who have vaginismus/don’t like being penetrated.

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  5. joy

    Also, women wouldn’t be so baby-crazy if the patriarchy didn’t teach them to be, anyway.

    For some reason, I never have been (never enjoyed the nurturing/housekeeping play when I was a child, never wanted a baby or a pregnancy in my entire life), and that is probably one of the top three things I’m most thankful for. I wish more women could see it for the scam it is.

    (And that is not bashing any women who have had children. In parenting, you’ve had possibly the most thankless job known to the planet.)

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  6. FAB Libber

    Also, women wouldn’t be so baby-crazy if the patriarchy didn’t teach them to be, anyway.
    Yes exactly right. The baybee-cwazys are part and parcel of the heterosexual grooming process, and it is the mechanism whereby most women become trapped into Nigel-dependence due to no other viable economic options.

    The societal message is that women are not fulfilled/complete unless they ‘do motherhood’. Frankly, I feel quite complete and fulfilled without it, and very relieved that I did not become perma-attached to a Nigel sperm donor because of it. Still subject to a lot of other patriarchy crap like lower pay etc.

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  7. FAB Libber

    But this scenario inspires me to *yell* WOMBZ! I see a pack of twanz grave robbing uteri under a full moon complete with scudding clouds.
    Should that be: wombzies?
    —–
    We are already reduced to sexual use body parts (breasts, vagina), so reproductive body parts is the next logical step.

    I just remembered a story about a woman in a coma, brain dead I think she was, but pregnant. They kept her on life-support to gestate the foetus. That too is creepy. I guess they pulled the plug on her once she served ‘her purpose’.

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  8. FAB Libber

    Ewww. I just googled ‘woman in coma gives birth’. I did not actually find the story I was thinking of (it was a UK one), but here is a summary from the first two pages of google results:

    BERLIN (AFP) – Doctors in Germany Wednesday hailed as “extraordinary” the birth of a healthy baby boy to a 40-year-old women who had been in a coma for the last 22 weeks of her pregnancy — a world first.
    […]
    Only around 25 cases of brain death or coma during pregnancy have been made public since the 1970s and they tend to end in miscarriages or deformed babies, the clinic said.

    However, doctors said they had “almost no hope” for the mother who has suffered huge heart and brain damage after a heart attack that pushed her into a coma.

    The child, now 18 months, is in a home after his father decided he was unable to care for him as he had to travel often for his job.

    – – – – –

    An American woman who had gone into coma when she was four months pregnant, had been proclaimed as brain dead, and was on life support. Susan Torres, 26, had given birth to a two-month premature daughter, while being on life support.

    – – – – –

    BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese woman who has been in a coma since being hit by a car three months ago gave birth to a healthy baby boy, the official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday.

    Song Yingqiong, 36, was nearly five months pregnant when she was struck May 22 in the southwestern city of Chongqing. She was hospitalized with brain damage and has not awakened since then, Xinhua said.

    – – – – –

    A Russian mother was injured in a car crash and has been in a coma ever since.Seven months later in a vegetive state she was able to give birth to a child. While this is the first time this has happened in Russia it is not the first occurrence. Her daughter is in good condition and will be released to relatives.

    – – – – –

    BELLE GLADE, Fla. — A pregnant woman who went into a coma after being shot in the head has given birth to a healthy baby boy, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, according to a report.

    Ronkeysha Thomas, 19, was out with friends in Belle Glade Saturday night when she was shot in the head, WPBF-TV reported.

    Thomas was rushed to a nearby hospital where she delivered the 4-pound, 9-ounce baby, Sgt. Pete Palenzuela of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.

    Thomas remains in a coma at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, WPBF-TV reported. Authorities are investigating the shooting.

    – – – – –

    Stacy Rojas, a 34-year-old teacher at Molina High School in Dallas, was happily expecting her first child with her husband, Marcus.

    Six months into her pregnancy, though, Stacy had a brain aneurysm and went into a coma.

    Marcus and Stacy’s doctors made a difficult decision: to keep her body alive to incubate the child she yearned for.

    – – – – –

    In what’s being called a medical miracle, a Pennsylvania woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy, after spending the last five months of her pregnancy in a coma.
    […]
    Annette Clark, 34, was just 10 weeks pregnant when authorities say a drunk driver slammed into the truck she was riding in on June 15 in Jefferson Township, Pa. The collision killed her 38-year-old husband, Glenn, a physical education teacher, and left Annette in a coma.

    – – – – –

    A car crash victim who was in a coma virtually her entire pregnancy has given birth to a healthy daughter.

    Doctors said it is one of few known cases in the United States in which a comatose woman was able to carry a baby to full term.

    The mother, Chastity Cooper, 24, has slowly improved since the November accident but still cannot move or talk. She is in a vegetative state, able to open her eyes and follow people around the room.

    – – – – –

    And also this one, but staff did not notice that she had miscarried:

    The Perth hospital in which a woman gave birth to a stillborn baby without staff noticing has defended its level of care.

    Sharon May was in an induced coma in intensive care while being treated for pneumonia and swine flu at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

    Mrs May was 24 weeks’ pregnant, when last month while still in a coma she gave birth to a stillborn boy.

    He was found in her bed when a nurse checked on her.

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  9. Sargasso Sea

    It may have been my very first radical feminist statement, and I couldn’t have been more than maybe 8 but I remember being with a group of girls and they were all playing *house* with baby dolls and strollers and all that crap and I was like, Hey, you know you’re going to be doing that for the rest of your life, right? So why don’t we play something FUN?

    Also, I never *wanted* kids either. I always thought that they were just a pain in the ass. My views (upon our daughter joining us) have changed only very slightly. 😉

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  10. Sargasso Sea

    In the US there was Terri Schaivo case. The world may remember her for the legal battles which came to include the US government and all that jazz but few remember this:

    That her coma was brought on by lowered potassium levels due to her extreme dieting AND she had been being *treated* for *infertility*. Husband Schaivo won a malpractice suit against the obstetric doktor for failing to diagnose BULIMIA as the cause of her no-baybee laydee problemz.

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  11. Sargasso Sea

    The child, now 18 months, is in a home after his father decided he was unable to care for him as he had to travel often for his job.

    Jesus.

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  12. joy

    SargassoSea, yeah! Like, here we are, we’re children with hyperactive imaginations: we have a chance to imagine something wonderful for ourselves, anything we want …

    and here everyone else is, playing house, putting on their mother’s high heels, doting over baby dolls.

    It just never stuck with me. I always wanted to play astronaut, or Amelia Earhart, or Calamity Jane. (Which is another reason that other people often called me “trans” — because girlbrains are all about teh babiiiies! Real women want babiiiiiies! Women LOVE to be kept as domestic slaves, because they CHOOSE to be.)

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  13. FAB Libber

    The child, now 18 months, is in a home after his father decided he was unable to care for him as he had to travel often for his job.

    Yep, that is why I put in that final line, as well as having that article first.

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  14. ball buster

    Oh jesus, this makes me ill. Funny how they’re all worried about the sanctity of life and all, when you know if some dude gets a penis transplant they’d be cheering if it’s successful.

    Sanctity of life my ass. Forcing women to give birth WHILE IN A FUCKING COMA my ass. I hate the patriarchy. It needs to be overthrown.

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  15. FAB Libber

    Oh, here is the story I was looking for (briefly)

    Swine flu mum has a baby boy

    A MUM struck down by swine flu while pregnant has given birth to the baby she feared she might never have.

    Fallon Devaney, of Kirk Hallam, fell into a coma in December after catching the bug.

    At one point, doctors at the Queen’s Medical Centre thought he 25-year-old, who is originally from Beeston, may have to sacrifice her unborn son in order to save her own life.

    She spent nine days in intensive care fighting the virus.

    Except at the time, it was very touch-and-go as to whether she would survive if the pregnancy continued, and the were stories about the ‘poor manz’ having to make the difficult decision between his wife or unborn kid. Frankly, I did think they were taking a huge risk keeping her pregnant. At least this story had a happy ending (sort of, because now she will be tied to that dude for the rest of her/kid’s life, and probably financially dependant).

    Is it just me, or does anyone else, when seeing “it’s a boy!” get that feeling of dread that another probable rapist has just been born?

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  16. ball buster

    Did you notice how it’s framed that SHE might have to sacrifice her UNBORN SON just to stay alive, not how the FATHER is sacrificing his wife’s HEALTH just to get his son?

    Yep, I hear you on that, Fab.

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  17. FAB Libber

    not how the FATHER is sacrificing his wife’s HEALTH just to get his son?
    The focus on the previous articles was “poor manz, such a tuffy decision blah blah”, nary a mention of the uterus wifey, certainly as a person at any rate.
    Nor was the outcome at the time a guaranteed one, that is what shat me off. They were willing to risk her, for the sprog, the sprog was the most important part of the equation.

    She was young too, so plenty of time to try again for another.

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