LondonDr. Steptoe, British pioneer of in vitro fertilization, died at age 74, on March 21.

He was responsible for engineering the conception of the world’s first test tube baby, Louise Joy Brown.

When criticized by the Roman Catholic Church, he responded, “I am not a wizard or a Frankenstein. All I want to do is help women whose child producing mechanism is slightly faulty.”

His methodology has led to such procedures as egg and sperm donation, “spare” human embryo freezing, embryo transfer and surrogate mothering.

There are now 200 I.V.F. clinics in North America, and 12 operating without any regulations here in Canada. Ontario tax payers contributed 7.2 million dollars in support of this high-tech conception.

It is ironic that a government is so generous with this “life-giving” programme and yet on the other hand pushes abortion with all its might.

Feminists fear “breeder class”

OttawaA national, coalition of women’s groups, and the Ontario Advisory Council on Women’s Issues want a federal Royal Commission to study the implications of the new technology of artificial reproduction.

Feminist activists are worried that commission will take a neutral position and that the government will not have a comprehensive and balanced report from which to draft good legislation.

One of their concerns is that the technology of surrogate motherhoods will create a class of breeders out of lower income women.

I.V.F Despite Rising Population

Beijing, China

China has a policy of allowing only one child per family in order to reduce the growth of the population. It recently dismissed the minister in charge of birth control Wang Wei, because of criticism over rising population figures. This growth in numbers threatens the plan to limit population to within 1.2 billion by the year 2000.

To enable the government to adhere to one child policy, abortion is freely available at any trimester in the pregnancy. 8 million abortions took place in 1987 alone.

Incredibly, doctors are working to help infertile couples to have the one baby allowable. Through the use of in vitro fertilization the birth of the first child was hailed as a national achievement in advanced medical procedures.

China’s population has been projected to reach 100 million over the 1.2 billion planned. This use of I.V.F. can only be viewed as simply a scientific challenge to the medical research institutes.