I remember the moment of Alice’s breakthrough distinctly, because in her enthusiasm she spilled coffee all over my brand new health monitoring watch and I noted the time as I reached for a tissue, to remove the coffee stains. I remember the month and day of the breakthrough because it was my first day working at Bio inc. I remember the year, because it was the year I graduated with a PhD. in genetic engineering, top of my class. At precisely 22:03, on October 13, 2050, the first human was conceived in the labs of Bio Inc. and survived.
Extracorporeal medical treatment had been around for decades, the iron lung for example. The first patent for an artificial womb was filed in 1954 by Emanuel M. Greenberg. In 1996 a project led by Yoshinori Kuwabara at Juntendo University developed the extra-uterine fetal incubation to aid in the development of immature newborns. In 2017 this research was further developed by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, using lamb fetuses. By 2030 the scientific knowledge to create an artificial-exowomb had developed to the extent that a fetus could be transferred from the mother’s womb to the exowomb and survive and develop.
In the 2040’s, a large outcry by radical feminists on social media, together with protests and riots by university students, demanding extracorporeal wombs as a right for all women led to $ trillions in government grants pouring into corporate entities to develop the first fully functioning exowomb. The race was on.
The technology of the exowomb allowed for the provision of nutrients and oxygen to nurture the fetus, protected by an amniotic tank, as well as disposal of the waste material. The big drawback was developing a sustainable artificial fallopian tube which would hold the fertilized egg for the required 3-4 days before being pushed into the exowomb. The successful penetration of an egg in the artificial fallopian tube, the transformation to a blastocyst, and the subsequent move down the tube to the exowomb was successfully implemented by Doctor Alice Walker on October 13, 2050.
This technology was steadily improved over the next 50 years, while social conditions changed to adapt to these new reproductive processes. Corporations took over human reproduction and over time, successfully lobbied government for powers to curtail women giving birth by natural means. This led to the reproduction act of 2089 which laid out the penalties for natural birth, including the termination of the child.
In 2095 Bio Inc. bought out the last of its competitors and became the sole source for the continuance of the human species. They formed a task force jointly with the World Council to further study methods of improving human biology. This led to several recommendations. Some of these recommendations included, vaccinating the fetus against various deceases, eliminating fetuses with any defect, equalizing the amount of melanin produced, removal of the uterus in 98% of females and limiting world population to 10 billion. They allowed that 2% of females would be sufficient for the harvesting of eggs for future generations.
So here I sit in the World Council Chamber waiting for my committee members to convene for our meeting on sustainable population control and thinking of the progress we humans have made in the last 50 years, since Alice spilled coffee over my watch. It’s so good to be alive in these enlightened times.