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This essay examines, critically, the wide successes of assisted reproductive technology (ART). With these successes have come concerns regarding its potential advancement of the boundaries of fecundity and of new levels of physiological freedom. One particular advancement involves efforts to utilize a phenomenon of nature termed parthenogenesis, or asexual reproduction. The potential for adapting this occurrence as a form of assisted reproduction is of particular interest for members of the LGBTQ community, holding great promise for embryo research and regenerative medicine. Parthenogenetic embryos could be derived from unfertilized human eggs and, thus, blunt--if not resolve--ethical concerns over experimentation on human embryos. These research embryos would, in turn, be a valuable source for producing stem cells which could then facilitate the growth of tissues for organ transplants. As a tool for expanding human fecundity, however, human use of parthenogenesis would be little more than a vain, glorious, and dangerous, scientific achievement. Having new avenues of reproduction for members of the transgender and lesbian communities is noble indeed. However, because there are other more practical and safer assisted reproductive technologies available to establish a family unit, this is an insufficient reason for experimentation in human parthenogenesis.



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