Prominent, provocative Transhumanist author Zoltan Istvan has penned an opinion piece for Wired magazine that calls for universal contraception and licensing and fitness tests before allowing people to have natural children.
He’s not alone, lots of people routinely deny and disparage reproductive rights today, and eugenicists have been trying to prevent the poor and unfit from having children for a hundred years, mainly by providing contraception and abortion and discouraging or restricting marriage. But every once in a while someone argues for licensing procreation itself, and separating procreation rights from marriage. Here is an early example:
Hitherto marriage and parenthood have been regarded as synonymous or equivalent by writers on eugenics, and they have said that such and such persons must not marry, when what they meant was that these persons must not become parents. – C.W. SALEEBY, 1914
And Margaret Sanger also called for an elaborate American Baby Code that called for separate parenting licenses.
At present a marriage license is a birth permit, as well a a permit for a man and a woman to maintain a common household. Suppose, for purposes of discussion of something that may not prove to be practicable, we add the following clauses to the proposed Baby Code:
Article 3. A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.
Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.
Article 5. Permits for parenthood shall be issued upon application by city, county, or state authorities to married couples, providing they are financially able to support the expected child, have the qualifications needed for proper rearing of the child, have no transmissible diseases, and, on the woman’s part, no medical indication that maternity is likely to result in death or permanent injury to health.
Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.
Zoltan Istvan is just the latest eugenicist to call for denying procreation rights, but one of the first to self identify not as a eugenicist but as a Transhumanist. Transhumanists are modern day eugenicists, the new term reflecting a fetish for computer technology and genetic engineering technology to take control of reproduction away from everyone’s natural sexual reproduction with their spouse and instead push genetically better children created by experts.
But having natural offspring with our spouse is a fundamental right, and that equal right to procreate is the basis of equality and dignity and liberty and rights itself. Our rights come from the proposition that all men are created equal, and the way we are all created is as natural offspring of a man and a woman. If we allow Transhumanists to create people any other way, intentionally creating someone that is not the natural offspring of a mother and father, then it will be self-evident that people are not all created equal anymore, and our whole underlying principle of America and liberty will be denied.
Istvan’s article shows that we need to preserve equal procreation rights and prohibit creating people by any method other than joining a man and a woman’s unmodified gametes. No state should be able to prohibit a marriage from conceiving natural offspring using their own unmodified genes. To accomplish that, we need a federal law that prescribes the effect of marriage as approving and allowing the couple to conceive offspring using their own unmodified genes. Without that federal law, people will be pressured to use donor sperm and feel they do not have a right to pass on their own genes, when in fact married couples do have a right to have natural children and no one should be able to deny that.