SAN FRANCISCO, EARTH – Protests cause disruption outside Starfleet Headquarters.
Making recent news, a group of protestors who have previously demonstrated several times outside a busy fertility clinic in San Francisco have now switched their focus to Starfleet Academy. What could these two centres have in common that the people from the Species Protection League find so objectionable? The answer is hybrids.
The group made minor headlines some years ago following a series of increasingly disruptive protests in several key Federation locations, objecting to the right of inter-species marriage. After being taken to court over slanderous claims regarding several mixed-species couples, the group largely disappeared off the sensor map. Now they’re back, and this time they have taken exception not with inter-species unions, but with their offspring.
‘Hybrid children are unnatural.’ Their Holonet site claims. ‘Most cannot be conceived without medical intervention, and they require further medical aid themselves in order to procreate, if they are not outright sterile. Children of outcest (sic) have many medical problems and create a huge and unfair burden on the Federation health system.’
In an attempt to gain another viewpoint onto the group’s claims we spoke with Doctor Michael Davis, head of the Frisco Bay Fertility Clinic, previous target of the group’s protests. We asked him whether there was any basis to their claims.
“That’s a complex question,” Dr Davis told us, “because they make a lot of claims. Is it harder for a couple of different species to conceive? Yes it is. The less similar two species are, the harder it is for them to interbreed, and in extreme cases, such as Andorians or Bolians, with pretty much anyone else it’s almost impossible. Terrans and Betazoids on the other hand might almost be the same species. It all comes down to the relative extent of the genetic differences.”
“Do the resulting children, of mixed-species heritage, have a harder time conceiving, themselves? Sometimes. It depends on their heritage, and it depends on the heritage of the person they’re trying to conceive with. And it varies from person to person. And yes, some of them are sterile. But you know what? So are quite a lot of single-species people. I’ve treated far more people of single-species heritage for infertility than I’ve every treated hybrids. The majority of our patients here at the Clinic are couples of the same species, who are having difficulty trying to conceive. Regardless we treat every couple, whether of single or mixed heritage, with the same level of care and respect.”
What about the claim that hybrid children have medical problems?
“You’d be better off asking a Paediatrician, but yes, there is evidence that there is a higher rate of physical and metabolic problems in people of mixed-species heritage, particularly in the second generation, due to genetic reorganisation. However, the claim that they’re a burden on the medical system is absolute rubbish. Do you know why? Because hybrids make up a tiny fraction of the Federation’s population; there just aren’t that many of them out there. That’s the important point here, these ‘protesters’ are deliberately targeting a very small minority group. And the reason that bunch of bigoted loonies are protesting at Starfleet is because that’s where an awful lot of them are.”
“Given Starfleet’s strict intake requirements, that’s got to tell you something about hybrid vigour.”
An enquiry to Starfleet Academy’s intake department yielded a standardised response.
“Starfleet selects its officer cadets on academic merit. No regard is given to the age, sex, sexual orientation, spiritual inclination or species of the applicant.”
We contacted the offices of Professor Ramsey Bakewell, galaxy-renowned Xenosociologist and expert on inter-species relations for comment, and were able to arrange a subspace conversation with the Professor despite him attending a busy conference.
“The problem with the situation, as with many social situations, is that everybody has an opinion, and very few of them are actually entitled to them. That’s the issue with this protest group, they need to shut up.” We were told.
“People ask me what do I think about inter-species relationships, and all sorts of similar, daft questions. Well I’ll tell you. I have a friend who’s a jeweller. Someone once asked him what he thought about this, and he said he thinks the same as he does about inter-racial, inter-religious and same-sex unions. He said ‘Every couple needs two engagement rings, two wedding rings and two eternity rings; beyond that it’s none of my business’. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Unless of course it’s a polyamorous union; then obviously they’re going to need more rings.