Scientists In Michigan Engage in Clone-and-Kill Human Research

University scientists in Michigan reportedly have developed a new technique to rapidly create “embryoids” — living organisms that are very similar to ordinary human embryos — in a lab.

According to an article published in Nature, researchers created the “embryoids” from embryonic stem cells as well as adult stem cells. Scientists experimented on the embryoids for a few days, and then apparently destroyed them.

There are several problems with this research:

First, it used embryonic stem cells to create the embryoids.

Embryonic stem cells are harvested from healthy unborn babies during the embryonic stage of development. Scientists create or clone an unborn child and then harvest its embryonic stem cells soon afterward, killing the child in the process.

Embryonic stem cell research is highly unethical, which is why it is illegal in some states — including Arkansas — and why there has always been controversy over efforts to fund embryonic stem cell research with public tax dollars. The fact that researchers used embryonic stem cells to create some of their “embryoids” is a real problem.

Second, the “embryoids” researchers created in the lab arguably are human embryos who simply are missing a couple of parts.

Researchers noted that the embryoids were similar to human embryos, but they lacked a placenta and yolk sac that develops into the umbilical cord and gastrointestinal tract.

But the placenta and yolk sac are not what make human embryos living, sacred human beings. An umbilical cord does not make an unborn child a “person” any more than an arm or a lung does. Scientists apparently want to argue that an embryo isn’t really an embryo if it’s missing a part or two. That’s very troubling.

Third, these “embryo structures,” as one of the researchers called them, were created, experimented on, and then killed in the name of science.

Over and over again we’ve seen scientists clone-and-kill human embryos in labs across America and around the world. As we have said for 20 years, this type of research simply is unethical.

Unborn children — including human embryos — aren’t lab material. All scientific research must respect the sanctity and dignity of human life.

Read more about this story from NPR.

Read the research article here.

Committee Passes Bill to Prohibit Public Funding of Research That Kills Unborn Children

Family Council staff member Charisse Dean (left) and Rep. Karilyn Brown (R – Sherwood) present H.B. 1399 in the House Public Health Committee.

This morning the Arkansas House Public Health Committee passed H.B. 1399 by Rep. Karilyn Brown (R – Sherwood).

This good, pro-life bill strengthens our state’s laws against human cloning. It prohibits public funding of human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.

In recent years we’ve seen examples of unethical companies using unborn children for scientific research. H.B. 1399 helps address that issue by ensuring taxpayer dollars won’t be used to create and kill unborn children in the name of science or medicine.

This is a good bill that Family Council supports. Unborn children are not lab material, and state tax dollars should not be used for research that treats them as such.

This good bill will go before the Arkansas House of Representatives, where it likely will be voted on sometime next week.

You can leave a message asking your state representative to support H.B. 1399 by calling the Arkansas House of Representatives during normal business hours at (501) 682-6211.

You can read H.B. 1399 here.

Scientists in Oregon Kill Human Embryos For “Research”

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.”

You can read more about the research in question here.