Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
The Daily Signal: Culture is central because it affects everything else. Francis highlights that a “throwaway culture” harms both social and physical ecology: “When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities—to offer just a few examples—it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.”
The New York Times: But that left six frozen embryos, and on medical advice, Ms. Watts, 45, had no plans for more children. So in December she took to Facebook to try to find a nearby Tennessee family that wanted them.
CBS News (AP): Britain’s High Court has denied an attempt by a woman to use her dead daughter’s frozen eggs to create her own grandchild, after deciding it wasn’t clear whether the daughter wanted the procedure.
Public Discourse: None of us can stop surrogacy on our own. I’m pro-choice and support extending legal marriage to include same-sex couples, but I know that if we are to succeed in ending the exploitation and abuse that comes with surrogacy, we must work with others with whom we may have vehement disagreements.
The Week: Legally recognized sperm (and egg) “donors” take money with the expectation that the resultant children will not be “theirs.”
The Wall Street Journal (Access via Google): Miryam Gerdine and her husband, both 44 years old, are expecting their first child in June, but the happy occasion comes with a price tag: The Maryland couple spent $30,000 on in vitro fertilization and other procedures.
The Christian Post: According to Nick’s complaint filed with the Los Angeles County court, it’s not a matter of Sofia or Nick arguing over who gets the kids during future holidays, it’s whether these two children should be even given a chance to live at all.
The wrong kind of rights: Same-sex marriage, third-party reproduction, and the sexualization of children
Public Discourse: In our culture, there is a chasm between two irreconcilable conceptions of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality and equality. For children most of all, the wrong kind of sexuality and equality has devastating effects.
The Christian Institute: Eminent scientists have raised “grave concerns” about a controversial new procedure to genetically modify human embryos.
BBC News: The timing of having a child has always been complicated for working women, but egg freezing parties hope to capture their attention by promoting advances in technology alongside cocktails and mingling.
The Telegraph: So this column is more interested in whatever our leaders don’t want to talk about. In recent weeks, I have therefore written about our defence, lack of. Today I want to write about children.
The Federalist: “The United States is the Wild West of the fertility industry,” Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, told Pew’s Stateline this week. It’s a frequent sentiment regarding the expanding business of creating and selling human bodies and body products. The long read provoked a number of other questions about the uncharted territory we are now entering with very little discussion.
The Federalist: Speaking as two donor-conceived young women—alive because of reproductive technologies—we felt an urgent need to respond…in support of Dolce and Gabbana.
Public Discourse: Dolce and Gabbana, whether they use the term or not, are strong advocates of natural law.
First Things: On one side we have Stefano Gabbana, who with his famous business partner Domenico Dolce has decided to express his commitment to an Italian vision of family through his art—fashion. Judging from the footage of his most recent men’s fashion show, nobody can deny that Dolce and Gabbana’s current vision of family is heartfelt, profound, and essential.
Christian Concern: An arrangement whereby a woman carried her adult son’s child as a surrogate mother was “entirely lawful,” a High Court Judge has ruled.
Christian Concern: Scientists in the UK are offering women £500 for their eggs to enable them to create genetically modified children with three biological parents.
Cross Rhythms: However Alliance Defending Freedom have said that this legislation likely breaches a European Union directive to which the UK is obligated. To discuss this Heather Bellamy spoke with Robert Clarke, who serves as litigation staff counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom at its office in Vienna, Austria.
Alliance Defending Freedom: One of the saddest realizations that can come to anyone studying the news – locally, nationally, globally – is how endlessly, indefatigably, so many forces are working to negate and erode the value of human life.
Law and Religion UK: The draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 are now part of UK law.
The Christian Institute: A Peer who has worked with families of severely disabled children, and has a disabled daughter herself, raised serious concerns about the effects on children who could be born through controversial GM baby techniques.
Christian News Network: The United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to approve the creation of what has been called “three parent babies”—a move that has has generated applause as an important health advancement while others have expressed concern about the ethical aspects of the practice.
ERLC: Instead of being bound by their (God-designed) biological clock, women can delay having children until their 40s without the worry of having to produce healthy eggs. The basic idea is that you freeze your strong eggs when you’re in your 20s, and then use them when you’re in your 40s. The article went on to state, “If a 25-year-old banks her eggs and, at 35, is up for a [career] promotion, she can go for it wholeheartedly without worrying about missing out on having a baby.”
Public Discourse: The UK has passed a bill that allows for genetic engineering of children through nuclear transfer technology and germ-line modification. Young women will be needed to supply their eggs. But egg donation—or more accurately, egg selling—is risky business.
The Christian Institute: Controversial techniques to create three and four-parent babies have been backed by Peers in the House of Lords.
The Christian Institute: Controversial techniques to create three and four-parent babies could be a “monstrous mistake”, a bioethics expert has warned.
The Christian Institute: ADF lawyers argued that the procedures involve altering the human germ line, which is explicitly banned in an EU directive.
Beyond the Dish: Because several laboratories have managed to differentiate embryonic stem cells into cells that look very much like human eggs and sperm, many have predicted that infertility will be treated with stem cell treatments (see Volarevic V, et al., Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:507234). However, new work from the University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institute has cast doubt on this hope.
The Christian Institute: In a legal opinion to the European Parliament, lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) argued that the procedures involve altering the human germ line, which is explicitly banned in an EU directive.
The Global Dispatch: “Politicians should not be allowed to skirt the law just because they want to push through legislation that might otherwise receive appropriate scrutiny,” said ADF Legal Counsel Robert Clarke, who is also a barrister admitted to the Bar of England and Wales. “It’s quite clear that the UK cannot simply bypass its obligations under Article 9 of the European Union’s Clinical Trials Directive, which prohibits the government from legislating anything that alters the human germ line.”
ADF Media: The so-called “three-parent embryo” legislation that the United Kingdom’s House of Commons passed Feb. 3 likely breaches a European Union directive to which the UK is obligated. That’s the conclusion of a legal memo Alliance Defending Freedom provided Thursday to the European Parliament at the request of several MEPs.
Catholic News Agency: Despite warnings from religious leaders and scientists, British lawmakers have voted to allow a version of in-vitro fertilization that uses the DNA of three different people to conceive a baby.
Aleteia: The same sort of technology that the UK’s House of Commons approved of this week, ushering in so-called “three-parent babies,” is under serious consideration by the US government.
The Telegraph: Scientists, naturally, like to make advances in science and the fact of mitochondrial disease being passed on by parents to their children is clearly one which science should investigate. But are three-parent embryos or three-person IVF really the way forward?
The Guardian: MPs have voted in favour of making Britain the first country in the world to permit IVF babies to be created using biological material from three different people to help prevent serious genetic diseases.
Associated Press: British lawmakers in the House of Commons voted Tuesday to allow scientists to create babies from the DNA of three people — a move that could prevent some children from inheriting potentially fatal diseases from their mothers.
The Christian Institute: MPs have voted in favour of legalising controversial techniques to create three and four-parent babies, despite serious safety and ethical concerns.
The Telegraph: Last week the Church of England said it could not support a change to legislation, arguing that scientists had not proved that the child would not inherit characteristics from the donor mother.
BBC: Next week, MPs are expected to vote on whether to allow the practice. The first attempt is expected this year, if there is a Yes vote.
NPR: Britain is on track to become the first country in the world to legalize a controversial procedure that uses DNA from three people to produce an embryo, as a way to cut out inherited DNA that can cause serious health problems in children.
BBC News: Senior church figures have called on the UK government to block the creation of babies from three people.
Public Discourse: The fertility industry has absolutely no interest in doing the studies and the research that are needed to protect women.
Christian Today: A number of leading scientists have called on MPs to support legislation on ‘three parent babies’ expected to be voted on in parliament next week.
The Christian Institute: Society needs to be prepared for the prospect of ‘designer babies’ in the wake of recent developments in genetics, leading scientists have said.
Life News: In science fiction movies, it seems like it is easy to edit the genetics of a living organism. In reality, it is very, very difficult. A new technique in genetic engineering is creating quite a buzz in the genetics world because it allows researchers to do just that: edit the DNA of living cells.
The Christian Institute: Regulations on techniques to create three and four-parent babies could be legally challenged over serious flaws in the proposals, an international law expert has warned.
Couple refuses to destroy embryos and places them up for adoption; helps give children to two families
The Christian Post: Two couples have been blessed by one couple’s decision to donate their unused embryos and adopt them out to other couples in need.
The Christian Institute: Regulations for controversial techniques to create three and four-parent babies have been published.
Life News: The technique that the United States and, more seriously, the United Kingdom are considering bringing to the IVF clinic, which creates embryos with three genetic parents, is often “mitochondrial replacement” or “mitochondrial transfer.”
National Review: My opposition to three-parent embryos is based in ethics, but also on safety–in eminently reasonable concern given that IVF children generally have poorer health outcomes than those conceived naturally, and more particularly, the technique in question creates embryos using two broken eggs and one sperm. Animal studies seem to show reason for concern.
The Christian Institute: A senior US science advisor has warned that serious safety concerns remain over a controversial technique to create three-parent babies.
The Christian Institute: Deliberately bringing children into the world without a father figure has been described as “social experimentation” by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.
Pope Francis’ first visit to US to include discussion on homosexuality, infertility, celibacy at World Meeting of Families
The Christian Post: Pope Francis plans to make his first visit to the United States next September, and his itinerary will include traveling to Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families congress. The discussion topics for the meeting are set to focus on contentious issues such as premarital sex, homosexuality, infertility and celibacy, according to the congress’ meeting notes.
Public Discourse: If it’s okay to buy and sell sperm, eggs, and wombs, then why is it not okay to sell other human tissues or organs? If it’s okay to sell one’s reproductive parts, why is it not okay to sell one’s sexual parts, as in prostitution? If it’s okay to pre-sell and pre-order children via third-party reproduction, what is so wrong with buying and selling children who are already born or conceived?
Life News: Paul Knoepfler, a vocal stem cell researcher, has penned an open letter to the UK Government asking for them to put the breaks on the three-parent embryo. I post it in its entirety because the whole thing needs to be read.
National Review: Here’s how the scheme works: Imagine a Chinese couple create embryos using IVF in Beijing. The embryos are shipped to the USA and implanted in an American woman’s uterus. She gives birth and the babies are taken back to China by the biological parents. Should the kid be a US citizen?
The Christian Institute: A health minister has been heavily criticised for suggesting that overseas patients could be offered controversial procedures to create three and four-parent babies if the techniques are legalised in the UK.
National Review: Here are the facts: Unmarried Italian citizens—”L.G.” the “intended mother,” and “A.T.” the “intended father,” paid more than $73,000 to pay for “expenses” and “pain and suffering” to “J.J.E.,” the surrogate. She agreed to be artificially inseminated with A.T.’s sperm, to gestate any babies conceived, and then surrender the child and her parental rights to the intended parents. In other words, the baby would be the biological child of the intended father and the surrogate mother. In Tennessee such contracts are called “traditional surrogacy…”
Aleteia:It’s not very romantic, but the idea of egg freezing – preserving one’s eggs for later reproductive use – has a sort of practical appeal. [...] While lauded in some corners as a welcome employment benefit from enlightened employers, paradoxically it perpetuates a bias against women in the workplace.
Acton Institute: This story has so many things wrong with it, I hardly know where to start. Apple and Facebook have both announced that will now offer egg-freezing – for non-medical purposes – for their employees (which runs at least $10,000, plus a $500 to $800 annual storage fee.)
NBC News: Two Silicon Valley giants now offer women a game-changing perk: Apple and Facebook will pay for employees to freeze their eggs.
The Federalist: While visiting some friends of mine whom had recently given birth to their new daughter in a Manhattan hospital, I couldn’t resist perusing the institutional paperwork addressed to the “Dear Mother, Parent, Person Carrying the Child.” Such a salutation represents a new and worrisome trend where both the meaning and definition of motherhood is being challenged by the rise of reproductive technologies.
Public Discourse: In addition to the tragic stories of surrogacy gone wrong, there are families and surrogates with “happy endings.” It is important to hear these stories, too, and to respond to the arguments they make in favor of surrogacy.
National Review: The Church opposes in vitro fertilization both because it almost always involves the destruction of human embryos and because it always, in the Church’s view, threatens to reduce human lives to the status of “products” rather than “gifts.”
The Christian Institute: The New Scientist magazine is warning that the UK needs to have a “serious debate” about the ethics of a controversial three-parent baby technique.
Public Discourse: A new book tells the story of an infertile couple that has children through Indian surrogacy services—but it glosses over the costs to egg donors, surrogate mothers, and children.
Law and Religion UK: On Monday 1 September, MPs took part in the debate Mitochondrial Replacement (Public Safety), scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee and led by Fiona Bruce, (Congleton, Con). The introduction of Regulations to permit the selective use of mitochondrial transfer was discussed in the Westminster Hall debate on 12 March 2014, reported here, where for the government, Jane Ellison, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, confirmed that that the regulations will be subject to the affirmative procedure and will be debated it in full on the Floor of the House.
Public Discourse: Materialism, relativism, and consequentialism are at the heart of the arguments in favor of third-party reproduction.
National Review: But now, in the ever more radical Journal of Medical Ethics, Cristina Richie, of Boston College’s Department of Theology, argues that these technologies should be regulated to limit the number of children–called “carbon legacies,” as a means of fighting climate change.
The Christian Institute: “The role of fathers in the nurture of their children is unique and cannot be replaced”, says Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.
New York Law Journal: “A Queens man may legally adopt his husband’s biological twins even though they were born to a woman under a surrogacy agreement that is illegal in New York state, a Family Court judge determined. Judge Barbara Salinitro ruled that the best interests of the twins is the most important consideration in weighing the adoption petition of a man identified in court papers as ‘J.H.-W.,’ not that the surrogacy agreement that resulted in their birth is ‘void and unenforceable’ under New York law.”
Irish Examiner: “A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up. Italy’s health ministry says it is launching an investigation into the error, which was only discovered when the woman was three months pregnant.”
National Review Online: “The current political landscape surrounding surrogacy indicates that as a nation we have failed to reconcile the undeniable realities of both motherhood and childbirth with our laws surrounding how these technologies enable collaborative reproduction and the building of modern families. Those who argue that this reflects merely a misunderstanding of surrogacy and a bias in favor of certain family models have yet to account for the medical and moral consequences of paying women to gestate babies for others. Until we have a serious public debate over commercial surrogacy, women and children remain exposed to exploitation at the hands of those entrusted with their protection.”
Joe Carter at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission: “The widespread use of sonogram technology—coupled with liberal abortion laws—has made it easier than ever for women to identify the sex of their child so that those without a Y chromosome can be killed before they’re even born. . . . The effects of this war on girls can be clearly seen in the changes in sex ratios at birth. Eberstadt explains that there is a ‘slight but constant and almost unvarying excess of baby boys over baby girls born in any population.’”