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    Monday, January 17, 2005

    Woman, 66, Gives Birth in Romania

    I work in a microbiology laboratory, directing research on Mycobacterium ulcerans, the etiological agent of Buruli ulcer. This disease is similar to leprosy and highly prevalent in West Africa.

    In Bucharest, Romania a 66 year old woman gave birth to two children (one stillborn) after doctors artificially inseminated her with donated sperm and ovum.

    I am saddened by man's attempt to thwart the natural plan of mother nature. Biology dictates that women hit menopause and cease menstruating. I feel this is nature's way of dictating the promulgation of the species. In order for humanity to evolve in the most efficient way possible, a few things must happen.
    1. the male-female family structure allows for specialized roles as protector and nurturer--ensuring proper infant care and decreased infant mortality.
    2. male maturation is slower than females to facilitate older men mating with younger woman. This helps ensure that physically capable protectors are the fathers of offspring.
    3. Males may reproduce throughout their life. This allows for the increased probability that the most fit organism will succeed through the extended sexual life of the most virile males.
    4. Women hit menopause to force males to mate with females that have more childbearing years available and will be healthier. This increases the chance of having a successful pregnancy (where mother and baby survive) as well as allowing larger families (one mother with many children throughout life)--the efficient social organization favoring females who are better mothers.

    This procedure may hallmark increased medical advances, but it also disadvantages the offspring. If statistics are correct, this baby will lose her mother by the age of 10, giving her a lower than average chance to live, succeed in school, and contribute to society. The child was born more than six weeks early, and only 3.19 pounds. Sometimes we must use common sense and logic when dealing with these issues. Although I sympathize with the woman who wanted badly to have a child, I worry more for the child.

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