This week the MIT Technology Review reported that scientists in Oregon have become the first in the U.S. to edit the DNA of human embryos.
The MIT Technology Review writes,
The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results.
Until now, American scientists have watched with a combination of awe, envy, and some alarm as scientists elsewhere were first to explore the controversial practice. To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China.
To call this research “controversial” is an understatement. It is unconscionable for two reasons.
First, in order to carry out their research, scientists created human embryos. These human embryos were living human beings–albeit very small, helpless human beings. Researchers in Oregon created these human beings; experimented on them; and then apparently killed them.
Ethically speaking, this is no different from embryonic stem cell research in which human embryos are created and then killed in order to harvest their stem cells for scientific use.
The second reason this research is unconscionable is that it could pave the way for “designer babies” in which embryos are edited to produce certain characteristics. Scientists who support this research say it could one day allow doctors to correct genetic abnormalities in unborn children, but it could also allow parents and doctors to engineer children with certain traits or enhancements.
It’s worth noting this is not the first time these researchers in Oregon have engaged in this type of activity. In 2013 they published research claiming to have cloned and killed human embryos in order to obtain their stem cells.
As we have said many times, human beings are not research material. All scientific research must respect the sanctity of human life. And we should not do anything that might encourage or allow doctors to produce customized “designer children.”
This morning President Trump issued a statement on Twitter, saying,
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you
President Trump’s announcement marks a reinstatement of the military’s longstanding policy concerning transgender individuals.
On July 1, 2016, the Obama Administration began allowing openly transgender individuals in the military. Prior to that, transgender individuals were excluded from the U.S. military.
Below is a press release from our colleagues at Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. concerning today’s announcement.
WASHINGTON, DC — Family Research Council (FRC) praised President Trump’s decision today rescinding the Obama era transgender policy. A Rasmussen survey released last month finds “just 23% of likely U.S. voters think the U.S. military’s decision to allow openly transgender people to serve is good for the military.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, a Marine veteran, released the following statement:
“I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities — and not continue the social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation’s military. The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda.
“President Trump recognizes what the nation’s military leadership and the American people realize, this Obama policy makes no sense.
“The last thing we should be doing is diverting billions of dollars from mission-critical training to something as controversial as gender reassignment surgery. However, the cost to readiness, recruitment, retention, morale and cohesion would have been even greater under the Obama policy. As our nation faces serious national security threats, our troops shouldn’t be forced to endure hours of transgender ‘sensitivity’ classes and politically-correct distractions like this one.
“Now that we are assured that the Defense Department has its fiscal priorities in order, Family Research Council withdraws our opposition to increasing the budget of the Department of Defense through the ‘Make America Secure Appropriations Act’ and looks forward to seeing that legislation pass,” concluded Perkins.
Transgender Policy Could Cost Military Billions Over Ten Years
Monday night the Benton City Council voted to place a 90-day moratorium on marijuana businesses while the city council examines its options regarding zoning and regulating marijuana facilities.
[Benton Mayor] Mattingly says he would rather the facilities not come to Benton period.
“I would rather not have one just to be quite honest with you,” said Mattingly. “I think it’s going to be a new and challenging thing, but it’s not going to be easy for anyone both in law enforcement and the public to accept.”
Mattingly says only one person has contacted the city expressing interest in opening a medical marijuana facility.
This report comes on the heals of a decision by the Hot Springs City Board of Directors to pass a resolution in favor of marijuana businesses.
Marijuana is a blight on the community. Fortunately, Benton’s leadership seems to recognize that.