Abortion Debate Adjusts As Gene-Editing Moves From Sci-Fi Impossibility To Attainable Reality
Although editing genes could lead to cures for disease such as cystic fibrosis, groups on both sides of the abortion rights issue are wary about the technique -- but for different reasons. In other news, a House committee has subpoenaed more than 30 organizations in its investigation into fetal tissue donation.
Gene Editing: The Next Frontier In America’s Abortion Wars
Activists on both sides of the abortion debate now have a common enemy — the use of a powerful new gene editing technology to tinker with the human race. That may seem like an idea from a sci-fi flick, but it’s already here. The gene-editing technique is already used in research and has the potential to modify human DNA with unprecedented ease in the not-too-distant future. British regulators approved limited experiments in human embryos earlier this month. The technology holds promise to cure diseases like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell and even revive extinct species. But critics fear it could also be harnessed to craft “designer babies,” who are more intelligent, beautiful or athletic and to “edit” embryonic cells to change an inherited trait forever. (Karlin, 2/16)
The Washington Post:
Dozens Of Groups Subpoenaed As House Fetal Tissue Probe Accelerates
A special House committee formed amid the debate over Planned Parenthood’s handling of fetal tissue has launched a broad investigation into the matter, requesting documents from more than 30 agencies and organizations, including some of the nation’s most prominent research institutions. Critics have raised concerns about the breadth of the Republican-led inquiry and are worried about the privacy implications of the wide-ranging requests. (DeBonis, 2/15)