The Corner

Ellen Goodman’s Prescience

A friend sent along a column by Goodman from 1980, on in vitro fertilization.

A fear of many who protest the opening of this clinic is that doctors there will fertilize myriad eggs and discard the “extras” and the abnormal as if they were no more meaningful than a dish of caviar. But this fear seems largely unwarranted. . . .

Now we have to watch the development of this technology–willing to see it grow in the right direction and ready to say no.

When her reassuring predictions turned out to be untrue, of course, Goodman never did get around to saying no. Instead she was saying “yes” to the crossing of another moral line.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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