Call to oppose 'three-parent babies'

A Catholic academic institute is calling upon Christians and non-Christians alike to oppose proposals to legalise genetically modified babies.

The Government is currently consulting the public on whether to give the go ahead to so-called 'three-parent babies'.

The procedure would use the DNA of a third party to genetically modify a human egg or embryo to minimise the chance of a child having an incurable medical condition.

A second technique being considered would use two embryos to create a third clone embryo, with the first two embryos being destroyed in the process.

Dr Helen Watt, senior research fellow at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, is asking people to respond to the consultation before it closes on 7 December.

She said: “One technique would split genetic motherhood and give the child three genetic parents. The other technique would produce a child with no genetic parents: a child cloned instead from ‘spare parts’ harvested from earlier living embryos.

“Both techniques would affect not only individuals conceived and born but also their descendants. Both should be urgently opposed, and the Anscombe Centre has produced a briefing which we hope will be helpful to those wishing to respond to the consultation.”

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