Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Are Same-Sex Parented Embryos Imminent?

Until lately, most pro-lifers' energies were devoted to the abortion issue. Now, they're also concerned about cloning and embryonic stem-cell research. But how many are aware of this other very troubling area of research: engineering embryos from two parent cells of the same sex.

The homosexual/lesbian population is quite excited about this work. We remember hearing our child speak of a feminist science teacher announcing to the class a few years back that "two women would soon be able to have a baby together -- without a man!" Here's an article on a lesbian website foaming over this possibility: "Parthenogenesis: Do We Need Men Anymore? Creating Children Without Men or Sperm." (Of course, the gay men don't want to be left out.)

John Howard, a Massachusetts activist pushing for legislation banning this frightening research, has reminded us of his blog on this subject. We encourage you to contact him if you're interested in promoting legislation to block this looming nightmare.

Check out this article he's linked: "Three Mothers Make a Baby: Is that Sex? Yes, Or Maybe?" by Nancy L. Jones (from the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity):

Perhaps you haven’t heard, but the doubt in some men’s minds regarding the age-old question “mother-baby, father-maybe?” may one day be forever removed. Results of a scientific experiment announced in April [2004] demonstrated that no paternal role was needed for the creation of a most uncommon baby mouse.* The triumph of Japanese researchers, this mouse (named Kaguya) was the product of two female mice. In creating Kaguya, scientists combined one normal mouse egg and one very manipulated mouse egg to form a “parthenogenic” embryo, who was then implanted into a surrogate female mouse and subsequently born.* Though this process is not reproducible (as of yet) in humans, researchers are nevertheless uncovering the keys for controlling early human development and producing artificial gametes....

...If Kaguya’s mode of creation were to be extrapolated to humans, the very basis of our society would be shattered—opening nearly endless possibilities for overcoming the normal reproductive barriers for mammals that requires both male and female genetic contributions.

Recently, the President’s Council on Bioethics published a report entitled Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies.* Several of the report’s recommendations are especially apropos given the Japanese experiment. Among these are prohibitions against “attempts to conceive a child by any means other than the union of egg and sperm” and prohibitions against “attempts to conceive a child by using gametes obtained from a human fetus or derived from human embryonic stem cells.”* While the relevance of the first prohibition is self-explanatory, the second is also germane because if the product of two eggs is to be viable, one of the eggs must be “immature”—which suggests the human fetus as a potential source....

Christians and those concerned about the dignity of human life and the sacredness of human procreation must urge Congress to address reprogenetic issues now! Currently our culture is struggling with what constitutes marriage…but soon the question will be expanded to what constitutes human procreation. We must stay ahead of the technology and be proactive in outlawing any form of human procreation that deviates from the combination of a single sperm and a single egg.