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May 10, 2002|
Hatch Decision to Support Cloning Angers Pro-Life Leaders; Reflects Close Ties to Biotech Industry |
U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, who turned his back on the right-to-life cause by endorsing the cloning of human beings so that they can be killed and experiments performed on them, was named 2000 "legislator of the year" by 160 biotech executives, according to a report by Dawn House in The Salt Lake Tribune (5/6/02). The article says that, according to the Boston Globe, Hatch "helped create the industry by pushing legislation during the 1990s that granted generous patents to biotech companies along with millions of dollars in tax breaks." "The industry, in turn, gave Hatch more money in campaign contributions in the 2000 cycle $400,000 than any other congressional candidate."
Hatch said his decision on cloning came after "countless hours of study, reflection and yes, prayer," reports Ms. House.
"His stance angered many of his traditional conservative, [pro-life] allies," the article continues. "Senator Hatch says heís proud of his pro-life record," said Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council. "Well, he sure sullied it badly."
Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women of America, had this to say: "His decision to proudly champion the sacrifice of young human lives for the flimsy promise of cure of disease for more mature human life life more like him, more like us and more like the aging Senators he joins will disqualify the record he has tried to establish on the sanctity of human life." "Real pro-life people will not be tricked."
Gayle Ruzicka, head of the Utah Eagle Forum, said if Hatch were "running for re-election right now, Iíd work for his defeat." "Itís pathetic that a Senator from Utah would take a stand that would be disastrous for babies all across America. I wonít forget this."
The all-but-ignored development, writes Mr. Byrne, "has great promise for treating diseases like diabetes, immune deficiencies, Parkinsonís, Alzheimerís and spinal cord injuries." Using cells from the patientís own body, the risk of rejection is overcome. Best yet, no one, not even a tiny new life, needs to be killed to access the cures foreshadowed by the new discovery.
"This is joyful news," writes Mr. Byrne, adding, "Well, not everywhere. In fact, in some circles, itís almost as if it never happened and never could happen . . . It has run into a public relations juggernaut that claims that the best, if not the only, rout to this kind of medical treatment is human cloning. With near religious fervor, the argument is made that the best source of master cells for making designer cells is the undifferentiated stem cells taken from cloned embryos.
"What they fail to acknowledge is the principle," writes Mr. Byrne, "that if there are two ways to get to the same goal, and one is less morally objectionable than the other, then in conscience we should take the less morally objectionable path. Especially when the alternative route is more direct and, as scientists say of admired discoveries, Ďelegantly simple.í"
"Most Americans agree," writes Mr. Byrne, citing a public opinion survey taken by The Polling Co. for Stop Human Cloning. "Americans rejected human cloning for embryos 59% to 26%, even if it is for the purpose of curing cancer and other major diseases."
Addressing fence-sitting readers, Mr. Byrne writes, "If you can accept the idea that an embryo is at least nascent human life, then you ought to be worried about creating what Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council, called Ďan underclass of sub humans . . . whose parts can be cannibalized and scavenged for the benefit of others.í "If you are not troubled by the idea that human life should be created for the sole purpose of serving others (this used to be called slavery in America, and the Nazis used to do experiments on mentally and physically disabled people deemed to have no other value), then we donít have much to discuss.í" (Life Advocacy Briefing, 5/6/02 firstname.lastname@example.org)
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