A transgender flag being waved at LGBT gay pride march
Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

Do Transgender Women Have a ‘Right to Gestate’?

Originally published at National Review

Bioethics discourse is moving in an ever increasingly radical direction. One recent and recurring theme is that biological men who identify as women should have a “right to gestate,” that is, to obtain uterus transplants so they can become pregnant and give birth (probably via caesarian section.) One animal experiment has already been conducted toward this end.

The most recent such paper was just published in Acta Biomedica, an international peer-reviewed, PubMed-indexed, journal. The idea here is that since science now allows women to receive uterus transplants (UTx) — which I have called “consumerist procedures” — the same justifications require it to be available to biological men whose lives would be thereby “enhanced.” From,”Uterus Transplantation and the Redefinition of Core Bioethics Precepts“:

Research has clarified the primary motivation for which transgender women would opt for UTx. Findings from a recent survey unequivocally reflect the “life-enhancing” purpose: an overwhelming 90% majority of respondents expressed the belief that having a transplanted, functioning uterus and vagina would benefit their sex life and perceived sense of femininity, improving quality of life overall.

Such findings are rather similar to those regarding the perceptions of biological women with AUFI: 95% of respondents in a UK study exploring the attitudes of women toward uterus transplant stated that, despite the additional risks posed, they would choose uterus transplant over surrogacy and adoption. Hence, it is not unreasonable to assume that in transgender women, UTx may go a long way towards the achievement of reproductive aspirations, benefit quality of life overall, and be effective in allaying dysphoric symptoms.

It is worth noting that there is nothing at all about what might be in the best interests of a future child. We already know that children created through IVF have greater health risks. Imagine the potential problems of having a biological male gestate, with the requirements of necessary hormones and other essential mother contributions to healthy gestation mostly provided artificially. Why, it’s as if the issue does not exist.

Rather, they focus on a future in which the limited resources of medicine are increasingly harnessed beyond health and wellness — already being rationed — in the cause of providing subjective emotional gratification:

Ultimately, we feel it may all go down to whether procreative liberty ought to be deemed as entailing an absolute right to gestate, and whether transgender women can be denied such a right without infringing upon ethical precepts of equality and non-discrimination. Current bioethics approaches need to undergo a radical update if we are to successfully meet the challenges posed by fast-growing scientific advances, set to shape and mold our lives ever more dramatically.

This is hedonism, starkly presented, to which society must not yield. “I want!” at some point, does not and cannot justify all things.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.