David Quinn claims 'motherless baby' research raises serious ethical issues

Catholic commentator tells Newstalk he is concerned about landmark embryo experiment

David Quinn claims 'motherless baby' research raises serious ethical issues

David Quinn of the Iona Institute | Photo: RollingNews.ie

The founder of the Iona Institute has described research that could lead to motherless babies as a "gross attack on children's rights".

It comes after University of Bath scientists showed that it may be possible to give birth to a baby made from non-egg cells. 

The researchers say they have developed a method to create healthy baby mice by injecting sperm cells directly into embryos.

The landmark experiment suggests that human babies could be created with the DNA of two men, without the need for female egg cells.

While it may benefit gay couples at some point in the future, Catholic commentator David Quinn claims the research raises serious ethical issues.

He told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show this morning that he disagrees with the prospect of allowing motherless children to be created.

"For the first time in all of human history, you would have a child brought into being without both sexes, and without sex, so you’ve completely desexed the act of reproduction in two ways."

'No mother ever for you'

The practice could lead to heartbreak for children, who need two parents of the opposite sex, Mr Quinn added.

"If the child loses a mother or father through circumstance, that’s a completely different thing.

"And by the way, when a child loses a mother, we regard it as a tragic loss in most cases," he said.

"Here, in principle, you’re saying 'no mother ever for you'. You can never find a photo of your mother, never be told a thing about your mother, because there never was a mother.

"There are some people who come into being in this way who would shrug their shoulders and not care, just in the way that there are adopted people who never want to go looking for biological parents.

"But we also know many do and experience a lot of heartbreak when they can’t find them. And it’s usually a mother they go looking for."