Southern Baptist Convention

WHEREAS, On November 28, 2018, Professor He Jiankui announced that he had successfully edited the germline of three children in his laboratory in Shenzhen, China, using CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which allows genetic material to be added, removed, or altered in the genome; and

WHEREAS, The germ cells (or reproductive cells) of human beings pass the genetic blueprint from one set of parents to their offspring and from those offspring to subsequent generations; and

WHEREAS, The germ cells altered by Professor He would, therefore, be passed from the parents to those three children, and those children’s future offspring; and

WHEREAS, Human germline modification can result in unintended and potentially lethal consequences for offspring whose germ cells are altered; and

WHEREAS, Human germline modification may be used for eugenic purposes; and

WHEREAS, Nearly the entire global scientific community, including the Chinese government, have condemned Professor He’s experiments as being in violation of the canons of human subjects research ethics; and

WHEREAS, Germline modification results in the destruction of human embryos, and more than two dozen living human embryos were destroyed in Professor He’s research; and

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention is on record for its long-standing pro-life stance and its repudiation of the destruction of human embryos through genetic research, including human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11–12, 2019, condemn human germline alteration; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on the United States Congress to pass legislation that would make human germline modification unfundable by tax dollars and illegal in the United States; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on international policy-making bodies to develop treaties, declarations, and other necessary policies to make human germline manipulation unfundable and illegal.


View all 2019 Resolutions.