This is kind of scary, but exciting at the same time. However it poses several ethical/moral problems, I think.
*Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant, the doctor in charge of the pioneering project has revealed.
The women were born without a uterus or had it removed because of cervical cancer. Most are in their 30s and are part of the first major experiment to test whether it’s possible to transplant wombs into women so they can give birth to their own children.*
The transplant operations did not connect the women’s uteruses to their fallopian tubes, so they are unable to get pregnant naturally. But all who received a womb have their own ovaries and can make eggs. Before the operation, they had some removed to create embryos through in-vitro fertilization. The embryos were then frozen and doctors plan to transfer them into the new wombs, allowing the women to carry their own biological children.
The technique used in Sweden, using live donors, is somewhat controversial. In Britain, doctors are also planning to perform uterus transplants, but will only use wombs from dying or dead people. That was also the case in Turkey. Last year, Turkish doctors announced their patient got pregnant but the pregnancy failed after two months.
The use of in-vitro fertilization, of course, is morally unacceptable. But advances in the surgery may allow the woman’s own fallopian tubes to be linked to the transplanted uterus and her eggs to be fertilized in the normal fashion. If this happens, then I think the surgery would be okay.
However, there is the sticky question as to whether an embryo or fetus should be subjected to an experimental environment, which the transplanted wombs are.
And… if the donors are alive, are they sterilized by donating their wombs? Does it matter if they are past the age of menopause?