New biotechnologiesare taking us places that we have never been before. They are changing how some people have children, and the kind of children they have. Many reproductive and genetic technologies are beneficial and being used responsibly. But some applications may lead to irreversible alterations of the human species—even to the division of human society into genetic “haves” and “have-nots.”
In 2001, leaders in the fields of science, law, health, and women’s rights gathered in Boston to call for a “global ban on genetic procedures that [would] fundamentally change the nature of the human species . . . and provide for regulations to ensure that other new human genetic and reproductive technologies are used in ways that benefit rather than harm human life and society.” In 2002, leading bioethicists issued a call for a global “Convention on the Preservation of the Human Species” to ban reproductive cloning and inheritable genetic modification, and to require that all countries establish national “systems of oversight to regulate facilities engaged in assisted human reproduction.” The authors of the proposed convention observed that “altering the human species is an issue that directly concerns all of us, and should only be decided democratically, by a body that is representative of everyone on the planet. It is the most important decision we will ever make.”
Mothers for a Human Future wholeheartedly supports these calls for action aimed at preserving our common humanity. We urge all people and organizations around the world who care about the dignity and well-being of children and the preservation of childhood and our shared humanity to join us.
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