Barack Obama Pushes FDA to Allow Scientists to Create Three-Parent Embryos

Bioethics   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 10, 2016   |   5:16PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama made a move this week that brings to light his support for scientific research involving the destruction of human life to create three-parent embryos.

Pro-life U.S. Congressman Chris Smith’s office told LifeNews that the president removed pro-life embryo-protection language from the proposed 2017 budget, which was released Tuesday.

The language, introduced by U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, is essential to protecting living human embryos from destruction, according to Smith’s office.

They told LifeNews:

Chairman Aderholt included language in the FY16 Omnibus (Agriculture appropriations) that prevents the FDA from approving the genetic modification of human embryos, such as the creation of “three parent” embryos. This language is needed because the proposed techniques for genetic alteration of human embryos manipulate young human life, create new individuals as experiments, and destroy human embryos in the process of the experiments.

The scientific community in the US has made clear it would like to create genetically modified human embryos, recently releasing a report that advises the FDA to move forward with approving these controversial technologies. The only safeguard against FDA action in favor of genetically modifying human embryos is the Aderholt provision.

While Aderholt’s provision in the federal budget protected young human life from genetic experimentation in 2016, the president’s actions threaten lives in 2017. Obama’s slashing of the pro-life provision comes just a week after a committee of scientists and ethicists recommended that the FDA approve three-parent embryo techniques for use in in vitro fertilization in the United States.

Rebecca Taylor explains more about the life-destroying research method:

The committee calls it mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT) because the goal is too “replace” defective mitochondria in woman with mitochondrial disease so they do not pass their genetic mutation onto their children.

We all have genetic material outside our nucleus in our mitochondria called mtDNA. We inherit our mtDNA solely from our mother. The mitochondria we inherit are in our mother’s egg.

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There are two MRT procedures that the committee endorsed. One takes a donor egg and removes its nucleus, replacing it with the nucleus of the egg of a woman with defective mtDNA. This creates a hybrid egg with the genetic material from two women. That genetically modified egg is then fertilized with sperm.

The second technique is a step further, manipulating not eggs but embryos after fertilization. It requires two embryos. One embryo with defective mitochondria and one “donor” embryo with healthy mitochondria. The nucleus of the healthy embryo is removed, and it is replaced with the nucleus of embryo with defective mtDNA. Two embryos are taken apart and destroyed to make a hybrid third embryo.

Both techniques are genetic engineering. Both techniques create embryos with genetic material from three people. Both are germ-line modifications, meaning they will be passed on to future generations by any female children made with these procedures.

The president’s push for three-parent embryo research should come as no surprise. He also supports funding for life-destroying embryonic stem cell research and abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.