Left behind: Gene editing may impact races and classes unevenly

[Editor's Note: Nourbese Flint is a program manager for Black Women for Wellness, where she directs environmental and reproductive health work, organiz community advocacy, and works on policy.]

While gene editing itself may be new, the ethical questions it raises are all too familiar: For whom is this technology beneficial? Who is going to be left behind? And, more importantly, who gets to decide?


The biggest thing [about gene editing for us] is that these technologies could and will have a huge impact on reproduction moving forward, and reproductive justice advocates are not at the table...[W]hat is very often missing in the technology and science conversations are ethical and moral discussions of it, and particularly coming from folks who are underrepresented.

As we approach this new frontier of gene editing and CRISPR, and germline editing in particular, it's important that we have people at the table whose communities could be, and are going to be, directly impacted. When we think of “designer babies” and the ideas of what is possible, it is not only a conversation of should we. It's also a conversation of who, if this goes forward, is going to benefit from it and who is going to get left behind.


It's also deeply important to have...conversations about race and class because, a lot of times, when we have these conversations about science, it's in a bubble, as if these social issues don't exist. And that's just not the reality.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why reproductive justice is essential to understanding gene editing


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