I was watching a recap of the plot of the 2009 film Splice, when something struck out.
Recap of Splice
Two scientists, a man and a woman, decide to splice together human DNA with the DNA from multiple animals, even though their bosses at the research company denied their proposal and clearly told them not to.
The man scientist's initial plan is to just develop the creature into a fetus, and then abort it.
Then they can dissect the body parts and perform a study on it.
However, as the creature keeps growing in an artificial womb, the woman scientist has a change of heart and wants to let it keep on growing.
They end up letting the creature keep on growing into a young child.
Now, obviously after that all hell ensues, they've created a monster. But the future consequences of what they did are not immediately apparent to them at the time.
It later emerges in the story that the human DNA they used originated from the woman scientist's own eggs. She didn't tell her partner, the man scientist.
So when she saw the half-human baby creature growing in the womb, her motherly instincts took over and she didn't want to kill it, as they had originally planned.
Well anyway, here's the bioethics issue:
It would obviously be very controversial and ethically questionable to start manipulating human DNA like this and then bring a child into the world.
However, if there is nothing morally wrong with abortion (like pro-choicers frequently and often claim) then it raises the question of whether there would be anything wrong conducting genetic experimentation on human beings, so long as you were planning to abort them before they reached some certain gestational age of development.
Because they're "not really human beings", so it should be okay to experiment, right?
However, pro-choicers say they believe the woman should have the choice, that whatever choice she makes is right, and that it should never be too late for her to change her mind or change her decision. And pro-lifers believe life is never the wrong choice.
So a question: In this sort of situation, would it be okay for the woman to choose life?
Even knowing she had messed around with nature at the point of conception and created a possible monster, that she could bring into the world a child who would likely be totally messed up and abnormal.
And if this is wrong, what part of it is wrong, exactly?
That she chose to perform genetic manipulation involving human DNA to grow a fetus?
Or that she changed her mind and decided not to do the abortion?
I would say that if either of these two are right, it seems to blow a hole in some of the usual pro-choice arguments we typically hear.
Is human experimentation in embryonic stages wrong? If so, why is that the case? Is it because the fetus is a person and has rights not to be experimented on with crazy genetic manipulation?
Does it have to do with potentiality of the developing human being?
(Even though that potentiality is only a possibility, and the intention that was set out with was to abort it before it goes into further developmental stages)