The L’Osservatore Romano published an article this week slamming an anti-life package passed this week by Britain’s House of Commons that includes measures allowing the creation of human-animal embryos, in vitro fertilization, and artificial insemination for lesbians who want to have a child.
LOR reporter Assuntina Morresi explained in her article that the most controversial measure in the package is the approval of human-animal hybrids. “There is no demand for these embryos in the scientific community, despite reports in the media. So far only tow British groups have requested permission to create the hybrids, using egg cells from cows and adult human cells,” Morressi said.
She called the proposed research “outdated and useless,” noting that last December Ian Wilmut, the creator of the sheep Dolly, publicly announced his refusal to continue harvesting embryonic stem cells from therapeutic cloning, saying “the technique is inefficient and has never worked in humans and has done nothing but harm to animals.”
Morressi also pointed out that human-animal hybrids could not be used to treat humans because of the possibility of contamination from animal biological material. “Neither could they be used as models to study certain diseases,” she added.
In her piece, Morressi also explained that the creation of “savior babies” through in vitro fertilization would mean producing a large number of human embryos in order to pick the ones with the best genetic characteristics. The “acceptable” embryos would then be allowed to develop so that after birth their tissues could be used to help sick family members. The other embryos would be destroyed.
Labor representative Des Turner noted, “If therapeutic measures exist, it’s a moral imperative to use therapies to save lives.” But, Morressi said, “Who knows what effect being considered a ‘therapeutic measure’ would have on someone, knowing that one was born because his genetic profile was exactly what the family needed,” Morressi asked.
Orphans before they were conceived
Referring to the third measure of the controversial bill on the right of a people to have a father and a mother, Morressi said the new law doesn’t respect this right but rather only requires that it be shown someone exists that will take care of the future child. Sponsors of the measure said, “It’s the quality of being parents that matters, not gender as such,” and further claimed that current British law constitutes “discrimination against lesbian couples and single women.”
“Orphans before they were conceived, in summary: impossible for mother nature but not for the law in Great Britain,” Morressi said. “Since there needs to be sperm in the test tube, there must be a biological father, at least in theory, even if he is nothing more than a sperm producer: a number in a sperm bank catalogue, or perhaps in today’s world, a simple bar code,” she stated.
Morressi ended her article with two questions: “Why persist in research that is so ethically controversial given all of the doubts from a scientific point of view? Perhaps to show that we can do research with whatever we want?”