In the 1990s the children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies, caused an uproar. To some people, the very title was ridiculous and, all by itself, seemed a powerful argument against childrearing by lesbian (or gay) couples. Today, it is more likely to provoke a “so what?”
Earlier this week an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considered a proposal from Oregon researchers to begin human trials of a procedure for giving one woman’s eggs mitochondria from a different woman. One of arguments reminded me a lot of Heather. The NPR story on the FDA hearings started its discussion of the objections this way:
“One [objection] that’s got a lot of attention is that any babies made this way would technically have three genetic parents, they’d have DNA from the father’s sperm, from the mother’s egg, and from the woman who donated the healthy mitochondrial DNA.”
Alas, the reporter didn’t follow that statement with “so what?” But I will, after a little background.