Trope-a-Day: Population Control

Population Control: Averted.  This is the thing the Empire’s Reproductive Statutes don’t do.  (They exist mostly to prevent violating the rights of about-to-be sophonts by creating them below the acceptable minimums for their species; this exercise in eugenics primarily means “no hereditary diseases or defects”, but does go so far as to define that as including things like “being stupid or unbearably ugly”, and includes high-p probabilities of your parents rendering you defective in non-genetic ways.  On the other hand, they don’t function as even stealth population control, because the odds are that if your genes are too out of whack for the genetic designers to wrangle into shape somehow, you didn’t live long enough to think about reproducing anyway.

They also prohibit having children which you can’t support – because reproduction is not a right if it means either harming the child or stealing from the public purse – which is mostly not a consideration in the splendidly wealthy modern Empire, but has been a bit more controversial in historical times.)

Trope-a-Day: Gattaca Babies

Designer Babies (formerly known as Gattaca Babies): Well, yes, absolutely, as seen everywhere in the Empire and in many places beyond.  Both the people who start out as biosapiences, and the empty vessels cloned for the benefit of minds in need of bodies.  (And, also, technically, nanocyborgs, because simple genetic engineering doesn’t cut it any more, but let’s not dwell.)

Actually, averting this one is illegal, by Imperial standards: Unlawful Genesis, or possibly felony Dysgenesis if you succeed in the aversion but produce someone damaged in some way.  The notion being, essentially, that there’s a certain legal minimum standard of health and capabilities for a given species, and deliberately creating a new person who falls either (a) below that standard, or (b) below the equivalent of a natural-born child of those parents, is a crime against said child; a pre-birth “actual bodily harm” of sorts.  And since around these transsophontist parts, the legal minimum standard is well above the natural endowment of most of these species…