The following is an extract from the oral comments made by Wendy McNeeley, president of Campaign Life Coalition/ British Columbia, to the Royal Commission on Reproduc­tive Technology.

“Before I had considered what I wanted to say today, I was saddened by the number of people who all told me that this commission was an utter waste of time.

Waste of time

“It is a waste of time, they said, because the emotional tug in the commissioners will be so compassionate to the suffering infertile women, or to those with debilitating dis­eases, that nearly anything for them will be allowed.

The intellectual and curious side will be interested in probing the depths to which science can unlock genetic mysteries and so few restrictions will be put into place in that area.

Those people who expressed these thoughts were afraid – afraid of the society that would develop from this lack of restrictions.

“Reproductive technology has the potential to totally change how we perceive parenthood. Parenting is emo­tional. The more choices available, the more emotional the decisions. People talk in emotional terms of having or not having a child, not in intellectual terms.

Science, on the other hand, deals with the intellectual matters and possibilities for experiments. 1 do not mean to imply that scientists themselves are emotionless, but their experiments are. How much power do we give to something devoid of feeling?

“Humans are of value simply because they are human. This is a stunningly simple statement that is not being applied. In surrogate motherhood, in fetal organ donations and fetal tissue experiments, the human has become a commodity. If we lose our respect for humans, what will become of society? We cannot concede that what can be done must be done.

Spider’s web

“What is being created is like a spider’s, web. A black springy spider sits in the corner quickly grabbing and cocooning each human fly that gets entangled in its web. A fly too big comes into the web, breaking it. The spider drops to the floor. But it is unperturbed, because there is always one thread to restart the web. Only now the web is a bit bigger and tauter. Every new thing breaking the web causes it to expand, stretching farther and tauter.