Artificial Conception

More Health Risks Found in IVF Babies (7/07)

Scientist Suggests IVF Children Should be Monitored into Adulthood A study of 3,980 articles in medical and scientific journals between 1980 and 2005 has shown significantly higher risks of long-term medical problems for children conceived through artificial procreation such as in vitro fertilisation or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a method in which a selected sperm is injected into the ovum. Dr. Alastair Sutcliffe, of the Institute of Child Health at University College London and Dr. Michael Ludwig, of the Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecologic Endocrinology in Hamburg, examined the data and have concluded that babies conceived through artificial means should be monitored well into adulthood. The study showed the risk of miscarriage is between 20 and 34 per cent higher than naturally conceived children. It showed 55 per cent increase in the risk of pre-eclampsia, or hypertension in pregnancy; an increased risk of stillbirth at 155 per cent; low birth weight at 70 to 77 per cent and very low birth weight at 170 to 200 per cent. Major malformations and cerebral palsy are also significantly more likely with artificially conceived children. Dr Sutcliffe commented, “In-vitro fertilisation has been done for nearly 30 years; in developed countries at least 1% of births are from ARTs [assisted reproduction techniques]. These children now represent a substantial portion of the population but little is known about their health.” The study coincides with numerous others showing that IVF and related fertility technologies produce significantly higher rates of serious health problems in children. Most recently, a study published in the June 21, 2007 issue of Human Reproduction showed that children conceived through IVF visit...

Men Conceived Through Fertility Treatment Have a Sperm Count Half the Normal (AJE, 3/07)

A study conducted in Denmark found that the sperm count of men who are conceived by fertility treatments is up to 50 percent lower than normal.   Published in March 1 by the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE), the study was entitled, "The Fertility Treatment and Reproductive Health of Male Offspring: A Study of 1,925 Young Men from the General Population." The AJE explains that all 1,925 Danish participants were undergoing compulsory medical testing at the time for army fitness requirements. The volunteers were required to give both a semen sample and a blood sample and then answer a questionnaire.   At the same time, their mothers were asked whether they had received fertility treatment, and 47 responded in the affirmative. The AJE reports that men whose mothers had received fertility treatments had a "46% lower sperm concentration" and a "45% lower total sperm count". They had fewer "motile sperm," and a higher level of deformed sperm. Their testis size was also smaller on average by 0.9 millimeters.   The study involved many possible confounding factors, especially the possibility that these men had inherited an infertility problem. Nevertheless, the New York Times reports that the differences between men whose mothers had received fertility treatment and those who had not were significant. In fact, it was more marked that the difference between men whose parents had smoked versus those whose parents remained smoke-free.   One drawback in the study was that although the mothers claimed to have received hormonal fertility treatment, the type of treatment remained uncertain. For this reason, the Times reports, Dr. Tina Kold Jensen, one of the...

Consumer Children: Pre-natal Diagnosis & Selective Abortion

Pro-abortion, feminist scholar says why she opposes pre-natal diagnosis and selective abortion. Marsha Saxton, a University of California, Berkeley lecturer and one of the authors of the landmark feminist health book, Our Bodies, Ourselves, is wondering about something: "Why have many people in the disability activist community reacted negatively to [prenatal diagnosis] and selective abortion, when this same group tends to be pro-choice?" She might well be asking about herself. Saxton, a senior researcher at the World Institute on Disability in Oakland, is an abortion rights supporter — but one who argues persistently, passionately, and personally against detecting and destroying unborn babies with disabilities. CCD asked Saxton to explain how the "right to choose" collides with a feminist ethic of "inclusiveness and diversity." First-trimester prenatal diagnosis (PND) for Down Syndrome and other genetic conditions may soon be routine for all pregnancies. What's troubling about that? Saxton: Unfortunately, it buys into a consumer perspective on our children. Is there a danger that people with disabilities will be regarded as people who unfortunately were not aborted in time? Who "ought" to have been detected and eliminated? I have heard comments to this effect, quite blithely, often from health care workers who, sadly, and of all people, may objectify people in the "patient" role as their condition rather than as a valid and valued person who happens to have some kind of disabling condition. For example, I heard a nurse say about a child with diabetes, "Too bad they didn't catch that before birth" – meaning it wasn't prenatally detected and therefore the child wasn't aborted. A "mistake." Some parents argue that...

Sibling Rivalry a Deadly Reality in IVF and Too Much To Carry? (5/07)

For thousands of couples suffering from infertility, the advances in reproductive health have given many new hope–and, in some cases, new life. However, with progress comes the burden of ethical responsibility–a burden many in the field seem unwilling to shoulder. The Washington Post published an emotionally-charged article, "Too Much to Carry," that did an admirable job portraying the wave of selective reduction that often accompanies modern fertility treatments. Doing her best to put a human face on the inhumane procedure, author Liza Mundy visited the offices of Dr. Mark Evans to observe the dark side of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for herself. The experience, as she tells it, was an eye-opening one. If IVF were as simple as fertilizing one egg with one sperm, the process would be less troubling. Yet for several of these at-risk women, doctors insist that to make the pregnancies more "viable" there must be less competition in the womb. This often means that "excess embryos" are created, implanted, and destroyed after tests are performed to determine which of the fetuses are healthiest. In some instances, Mundy was present for the "reductions" and describes the horror of seeing tiny lives, once active on the ultrasound screen, quickly silenced by a lethal injection to the heart. The "selection process" is also used to single out small victims that doctors suspect have Down syndrome or other maladies, which, 85% of the time is used to justify an abortion. In one visit, Mundy describes the patient crying, "Oh, my gosh, I can really see it! I can see the fingers!" and then sobbing uncontrollably as the small baby goes...

Embryo Adoption

Saving Lives with Embryo Adoption It is estimated there are 400,000 frozen human embryos, left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF), in storage across the nation. While legitimate controversy does exist in the pro-life community over the ethics of IVF, there is near universal agreement that these tiny human beings should be protected and given life, instead of being killed. Allow me to digress for one moment to quote my colleague, Dr. Willke. It's important that pro-lifers use the correct terminology when talking about ending the life of human embryos. We should always say that the embryos are "killed" not "destroyed." Things are destroyed, but human beings are killed. It helps to keep the humanity of this tiny person at the focus of our debate and discussions. Many parents of frozen embryos face an ethical dilemma. The IVF treatment may have been a success and they feel their family is complete, but extra embryos remain. Other parents may have failed to achieve a successful pregnancy and either gave up, or ran out of money to fund this expensive endeavor. While other parents become divorced and either change their minds about having children, or cancel any plans for more. We've even read news reports where the embryos have become the center of an ugly custody dispute. Whatever the reason, parents have few options on what to do with their additional children. Storage fees average eight hundred plus dollars every year. Most are aware they can donate them to science to be killed during experimentation. The other obvious choice would be to thaw and kill them immediately. Sadly, few parents realize...

Jan-Feb 2007: Technological Conception

Study Shows Higher Rate of Birth Defects in Babies Conceived Through Fertility Treatment  IVF Children May Suffer More Over-All Health Problems Than Naturally Conceived Children IVF Can Lower Chance of Pregnancy Study Finds IVF – Placenta Previa Increased Risk Wanting Babies Like Themselves, Some Parents Choose Genetic Defects     Study Shows Higher Rate of Birth Defects in Babies Conceived Through Fertility Treatment. A new study has provided further confirmation that babies conceived through fertility treatments are at a higher risk of having a birth defect than children who are conceived naturally.   The study was carried out by a medical team assembled in Ottawa, Ontario and is the largest of its kind to date. The study monitored 61,208 births in total of which 1,394 were of babies conceived through fertility treatments. The researchers took into account in their calculations the variable factors of age of the mother, sex of the child, whether the mother smoked and other relevant issues.   The final results of the study are to be presented at today’s meeting [9Feb] of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Francisco.   Some doctors assure women, even after looking at the facts of the study, that, while the risk of a birth defect is greater with a child that is conceived through artificial means, the risk is so minimal that it should not dissuade parents from choosing technological methods of conception. Dr. Mark Walker of the University of Ottawa and one of the study’s leaders said, "What's important and reassuring is that the absolute risks are still low."   However, the results of the recent study seem to...

Prenatal Screening Not As Accurate As Once Thought

“Normal” Children Killed as “Defective”? Scientists conclude there is really no such thing as “normal” in genetic inheritance. New research has found that more genetic differences exist among people than previous research had indicated. In 2000 the international team of scientists working on the Human Genome project said that there was only a miniscule percentage of difference between people. At about the same time, genetic screening was introduced as a common feature of prenatal care and as part of artificial procreation in IVF facilities. The new research shows, however, that this screening is not as accurate as previously thought. In the new study, 270 volunteers from different countries were tested and the researchers found that the genetic continuance from parents to child is not as straightforward as previously thought. In fact, the conclusion seems to be that there is really no such thing as “normal” in genetic inheritance. This means that screens for genetic abnormality are unrealizable without a reliable standard of “normal.” The report, published in the journal Nature suggests that prenatal screening may have incorrectly diagnosed genetic abnormalities as defects. In the period since the growth of genetic screening, in both IVF and natural conception, fewer children are being allowed to live to birth because of suspected genetic defects such as Down’s syndrome. With abortion being available in many jurisdictions for any reason or no reason, a genetic test result with any kind of abnormality is often a death sentence for the child. The Globe and Mail quotes Steve Scherer, a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and study co-author, “The genome is...

Women Risk Passing Infertility to Daughters If They Delay Motherhood

Pregnant pause: women who delay motherhood after 30 risk bequeathing infertility to their daughters. A new study suggests older mothers may bequeath a devastating legacy by passing on biological flaws that will make it more difficult for their own daughters to get pregnant. Dramatic findings from a US study of almost 80 women undergoing fertility treatment shows those who failed to conceive had older mothers than those who succeeded. These mothers had a shorter ‘window of fertility’ between giving birth to their daughters and hitting the menopause. For the first time, researchers have calculated the ‘age’ of eggs at the time of conception and linked it with the fertility potential of the daughters that were born subsequently. The findings indicate that older eggs may carry inbuilt defects that only become apparent when female children attempt to get pregnant. Dr Peter Nagy, a leading fertility specialist at Reproductive Biology Associates, a fertility clinic in Atlanta, said postponing childbirth had implications for women that could cascade down the generations. “For every year that a woman delays childbirth, it becomes more difficult for her daughters. Women will be asking whether their decision not only affects their own chances of getting pregnant but the chances for their daughters.” “Today we see a lot of women delaying motherhood and there could be consequences in 20 or 30 years’ time, we could see more fertility problems in the future.” He said it was well known that older women had trouble getting pregnant because they had “aged eggs” but it had never been shown before that this might lead to subtle defects in the fertility potential...

Turkish Woman Gives Birth at Age 64

Turkish woman gives birth at the age of 64 in Istanbul, becoming the second oldest mother in the world. After 35 years of trying, Memnune Tiryaki became pregnant through in vitro fertilization — by egg transfer from a donor — in the breakaway Turkish sector of Cyprus and delivered her baby boy by Cesarean section in the private German Hospital here. “It’s a great success… She is the second oldest woman in the world to have given birth,” said hospital spokesman Bulent Biricik, adding that a Romanian had given birth at the age of 67 in 2005. The baby was 48 centimeters (19 inches) tall and weighed 2.7 kilograms (5.9 pounds). The 62-year-old father was equally joyous: “The only thing I care from now on is the happiness of my child.” The Turkish Cypriot doctor who performed the in vitro fertilization said he made the decision after much hesitation over Tiryaki’s age. “They wanted this baby so much. They were ready to do anything.” He explained that only 25 percent of women aged over 40 stand the chance of becoming pregnant through in vitro fertilization, but “even the uterus of a 90-year-old woman” is medically fit for the operation. [11Oct06, AFP,...

Fall 2006: Technological Conception

UK Doctors Warn IVF Drugs Pose Health Hazard for Mothers  Surrogate Madness: 5 Would-Be-Parents Vie for Custody of Child Sperm Banks Near Empty After Donor Anonymity Lifted UK Doctors Warn IVF Drugs Pose Health Hazard for Mothers. IVF drugs are dangerous for the health of mothers as well as babies, medical experts warned last week, and there is no clear evidence they increase a woman’s chance of conceiving. Hormone treatment during IVF procedures are intended to help stimulate egg production by the ovaries, to be collected artificially for petri-dish fertilization. The treatment leads to ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome in up to six percent of women, causing nausea, abdominal pain and bloating, and respiration problems [report published by Baby World 9October]. In some cases, death can occur. Dr. Geeta Nargund, head of reproductive medicine at St. George’s Hospital in London, said more research is needed into the long-term health effects of IVF treatment. “There are concerns [regarding] stimulating ovaries to produce more eggs. There may be consequences for a woman’s reproductive organs later in life, in particular uterine cancer and we urgently need to fund studies to test these suspicions.” The report raised the alarm on the unregulated use of IVF drugs by fertility clinics, with one fertility expert saying the existing guidelines are not binding, leaving clinics free to prescribe dangerously high doses of the drugs. “Women are going around from clinic to clinic and receiving different doses of these drugs but there is no sound scientific evidence to show that it will help improve their chances of conceiving,” said Dr. Nargund. “There is also no evidence to show how...

Moving Forward in Women's Health

Over the past 28 years a new women's health science called NaPro Technology has been evolving which has and continues to revolutionize the health care of our families. Developed by Dr. Thomas Hilgers [dir, Inst for the Study of Human Reproduction, Omaha, NE], his detailed research now confirms what those of us involved in this approach to health care have known for a long time. The 23rd annual meeting of the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals listed many of the breakthroughs all meticulously described in Dr. Hilgers' 1,300 page medical textbook, which is filled with extensive research and data. Much of this research has been gathered over the past few decades from women who have learned to chart their fertility cycle utilizing the Creighton Model Fertility Care System. It is this systematic way of charting which unleashes the power of the cycle, helping physicians determine, for example, the most opportune times to target reproductive hormone levels. Eliminating any guesswork, appropriate treatment and interventions can then be instituted at the best time. Consider the following regarding NaPro Technology: ** It is 2 to 3 times more successful than in vitro fertility at healping infertile couples have children — at a fraction of the cost. ** It is 79 percent effective at helping women have a successful pregnancy after they have suffered repetitive miscarriages. ** Remarkably, it can help women learn they are at risk for a miscarriage even before it has occurred. ** NaPro Technology is 95 percent effective at treating post-partum depression, which afflicts as many as 1 in 5 new mothers, often getting positive results within hours....

IVF Alternatives, Naturally

Couples Ask: What's Wrong with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? CA attorneys Anthony and Stephanie Epolite found out the hard way that in vitro fertilization (IVF) wasn't all it's cracked up to be. After years of marriage, and facing her 39th birthday still without a baby, Stephanie turned to a fertility clinic. Two years and  $25,000 later, the couple had nothing but frustration and embarrassment to show for the time spent on IVF. "We were emotionally, financially and spiritually spent," Stephanie said. "The clinic did no diagnostic tests. They loaded me up with fertility medication and determined the right time for retrieval of my eggs." But, after the retrieval and the mixing of the eggs with Anthony's sperm in the lab, still no embryo developed. "In the end, they told me I just had old eggs," she said… According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects more than 6 million American women and their spouses, or about 10 percent of the reproductive aged population. About 5 percent of infertile couples use IVF…. Studies suggest that children made through IVF have an elevated risk of birth defects. "Studies have shown a six-fold elevated risk for in vitro fertilization children contracting an eye disease called retinal blastoma versus normally conceived babies", noted Tad Pacholczyk [dir, NCBC, Philadelphia]. "In vitro fertilization is very unnatural. You're extracting ova from the woman, culturing them and inspecting the developing embryo in a laboratory setting. They are in a completely unnatural environment for a very long time before they are put back into the womb"… Dr. Thomas Hilgers has devoted his life to the study...

"Assisted Reproductive Technologies are Anti-Woman"

By Marie Anderson, M.D., FACOG and John Bruchalski, M.D. "Assisted reproductive technologies" (ART) broadly includes any therapy directed towards improving the chances of conception for an infertile couple. In 1978 one form of this technology made its debut when Louise Brown was born after her mother underwent IVF (in vitro fertilization). At the time, the scientific world marveled at man's accomplishment in creating the first "test tube baby." Now it seems more as if we have opened Pandora's Box. Initially it sounded simple to mix sperm and an egg in a Petri dish, but we now know it is far from simple. Many of the procedures are questionable, and many of the drugs used in these procedures put women's health and lives in jeopardy. Without long-term studies, the risks to women and their children are unknown. One in every 6 women of reproductive age will at some time in her life seek treatment for infertility.1 The rates are rising as more women delay childbearing. Natural fertility drops after age 30; by 40 it plummets. By the 40s, chronic diseases such as endometriosis have had more time to progress to a stage that results in infertility. Other causes of infertility, such as ovarian cysts and tubal damage due to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are increasing at alarming rates as well. As a result, women increasingly are turning to ART to have a child.2 IVF is a $2 billion a year business.3 More than 150,000 children have been born in the U.S. after their others underwent ART.4 But is this a prudent choice? IVF is largely privately funded and almost completely...

How to Talk About Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Once again, medical experimentation is being carried forward on those who are not judged to be “full persons” and are not granted “the same rights and respect that others [enjoy].” This time, though, it’s performed on those whom the legal system won’t even grant a lawyer: the human embryo. Because embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) doesn’t have the starkness of other pro-life issues, some people may not realize what an urgent issue it is. My wife, a former AIDS and cancer-research technician at Johns Hopkins University, put it simply: When it comes to ESCR, “the problem isn’t the cells, it’s the person you have to kill to get the cells.” And that’s what’s wrong with embryonic stem cell research as it stands today: It’s fatal. This research doesn’t use human beings as guinea pigs, but rather as clay pigeons. Many senators and representatives with otherwise impeccable pro-life records—such as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)—actively support ESCR. As Senator Hatch put it, “Human life begins in the mother’s womb, not a petri dish or a refrigerator.” For others, there’s an admittedly uncomfortable trade-off at work—a utilitarian belief that since benefits will (we’re assured) result from ESCR, it is therefore morally acceptable, especially since the embryos are “going to be destroyed anyway.” And, of course, those who are already pro-abortion are going to dismiss those who oppose ESCR as religious fanatics. [Eric Pavlat, LifeNews.com,...

Human Uterus Transplants

Human Uterus Transplants Possible 'in 5 Years' According to Swedish Scientists Women who lack a functioning womb could be given a replacement. Researchers say they have already been contacted by hundreds of women who are interested in having such a transplant. There are several reasons why a woman can lack a uterus… Some, with a condition called Rokitansky syndrome, are born without a vagina or a uterus. Others can lose their womb, for example through cervical cancer, or if the organ ruptures during childbirth. The only current way such patients can have a child is if another woman carries the baby. Mats Brannstrom and his colleagues at Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg have worked for several years on transplanting uteruses in mice, and the recipients have successfully given birth. The group has now been able to remove a uterus from a sheep and replace it several hours later, then show after 2-3 months that the organ is functioning normally. They presented their research in June at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, the Czech Republic. The next step is to try to get the sheep pregnant and to give birth. After that, the aim is to transplant uteruses between different animals, to check that immune rejection can be controlled using immunosuppressant drugs. Once that's done, Brannstrom thinks that the procedure should be tried in primates, and only then in humans. Even so, he is hopeful that human womb transplants will be possible in five years. Although wombs could be transplanted from dead donors, Brannstrom says the ideal situation would be for a...

May 2006: Technological Conception

Kenya Hails First Test Tube Girls  Doctors in Kenya are celebrating the birth of the country's first test tube babies, two girls born in Nairobi. The babies were born to women aged 30 and 35 at a private hospital… Dr Joshua Noreh, who oversaw the births, hailed them as a landmark for Kenya, 28 years after the first test tube baby was born in the UK. Louise Brown was born in Oldham in 1978, the first of more than one million babies conceived through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) around the world. [Daily Nation; AFP news agency; 9May06,...

January 2006: Technological Conception

One Embryo Works As Well As Two for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Finnish Study Finds IVF Increases the Risk of Deformity… ONE EMBRYO WORKS AS WELL AS TWO FOR IVF: STUDIES. Using a single embryo for in-vitro fertilization is just as likely to result in a successful pregnancy as transferring two embryos, while reducing the chance of a higher-risk twin conception, according to research released on Friday. Women pregnant with twins, triplets or quadruplets are at greater risk of serious health complications than are women carrying just one fetus. In addition, delivering multiple babies carries a higher risk of premature labor and low birth weight, both of which can be fatal to infants. If they survive, premature babies are more likely to suffer from neurological conditions like cerebral palsy. With IVF, also known as test-tube baby technology, a women’s egg and her partner’s sperm are combined in a lab dish. Resulting embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus or sometimes frozen for later use. To increase the chance of success, fertility clinics often implant several embryos at the same time. But two studies, published in the December issue of Fertility and Sterility, found that implanting one embryo worked as well as two for achieving a successful pregnancy. Researchers in Seattle examined the results of more than 200 IVF cycles where the patients had either one or two embryos transferred. The patient and cycle characteristics were similar for the two groups. The study revealed that while implantation and live birth rates were virtually the same for the two groups, there was a significant difference in the number of twins. Similar...

Fall 2005: Technological Conception

New CT Law Mandating Insurers to Cover Fertility Treatment Limits Benefits to Women Under 40 Study Findings Suggest that Over 6.7 Million Human Embryos Have Died During IVF NEW CT LAW MANDATING INSURERS COVER FERTILITY TREATMENT LIMITS BENEFITS TO WOMEN UNDER 40 — (SB 508) scheduled to take effect Oct. 1 that will require some health care insurers in the state to cover most fertility treatments, limits the benefit to women younger than age 40. The law makes Connecticut the 15th state to mandate that insurers provide infertility coverage. However, most states do not have age limits for the requirement. In New York, women ages 44 and older are ineligible for coverage, and in New Jersey, the cutoff is age 46. The law also has a provision that limits mandated in vitro fertilization coverage to the implantation of two embryos per IVF treatment. The law will not apply to employees in self-insured plans (Haigh, AP/Hartford Courant, 9/26; 27Sept05, http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=32772]   STUDY FINDINGS SUGGEST OVER 6.7 MILLION EMBRYONIC CHILDREN HAVE DIED DURING IVF — 85% of Human Embryos Produced During IVF do Not Survive till Birth – A new study has confirmed that beyond all the loss of life that happens when in vitro fertilization embryos are frozen for storage and unfrozen for use, there is massive loss of life even after embryos are transferred into their mother’s wombs.  Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that 85% of embryos transferred during IVF fail to live till birth. IVF specialists boasted last year that over a million children have been born due to IVF (see: http://www.ivf.com/overview.html).  With the results...

June 2005: Technological Conception

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Embryo Adoption   ART – Of 4,021,726 total infants born in the USA in 2002, a total of 42,483 (1%) were conceived by ART. Infants conceived with ART accounted for 0.5% of singleton births and 17% of multiple births nationally. Sixteen percent of all twins and 44% of infants born in triplets or higher order multiples were conceived with ART…The percentage of infants with low birthweight varied from 9% among singletons to 95% among triplets or higher order multiples… In comparison with singletons born after procedures using freshly fertilized embryos derived from the patient’s eggs, singletons born after procedures using freshly fertilized embryos derived from donor eggs were at increased risk for four perinatal outcomes — low birthweight, very low birthweight, preterm delivery, and preterm low birthweight. Singletons born after procedures using thawed embryos were at decreased risks for low birthweight, very low birthweight, preterm low birthweight, and term low birthweight; however, they were at increased risk for preterm delivery overall. The variation in risk across procedure types did not reach statistical significance for very low birthweight. According to the latest estimates of infertility in the USA from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, 15% of women of reproductive age (aged 18–44 years) reported a previous infertility-associated health-care visit, and 2% reported a visit in the previous year (16). Among married couples in which the woman was of reproductive age, 7% reported they had not conceived after 12 months of unprotected intercourse… Since the birth of the first infant through ART in the USA in 1981, use of ART has grown substantially. Since 1997,...

British Court Overturns Pro-Life Effort to Stop “Designer Babies”

England’s highest court ruled that the creation of so-called ‘designer babies’ to help find cures for diseases is lawful, despite concerns about the destruction of unborn children to meet those goals. The five Lord judges who decided the case ruled unanimously that tissue typing to create babies to help their siblings could be authorized by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, Britain’s medical research agency. HFEA is allowing a London clinic to screen embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for genes that might lead to cancer. Pro-life groups criticized the decision and say the agency is trying to play God by killing human embryos that have a cancer gene. Critics note that there is a possibility that these unborn children would never develop cancer if they were permitted to be born. Josephine Quintavalle of the Comment on Reproductive Ethics, the group that brought the lawsuit, argued the creation of designer babies violated British law. “We are not thinking about curing the disease, but about eliminating the carrier. It is pretty shoddy medicine,” she said of the goals of the research. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has also been vocal in its opposition to so-called ‘designer babies’. [LifeNews.com,...