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June 3, 2005
On Human Embryos and Clones 
The current debate over the proposed expansion of the Bush administration's policy that prohibits taxpayer funding of experiments involving the killing of human embryos after August 9, 2001, has obscured the fact that research on human embryos is being done in this country all the time. The only restriction on it is that federal tax dollars may not be used for killing human embryos after that date. Private money can be and is being used. State tax dollars are funding embryonic stem cell research at state-funded university research facilities and medical centers.

Eric Cohen, in his May 30, 2005 column in The Weekly Standard entitled “Go Forth and Replicate,” sums it up:

“In America, there are currently no prohibitions and no limits on human cloning. There are no limits on the creation and destruction of human embryos. There are no limits on the implantation of human embryos into animal wombs to generate fetuses for spare parts. There are no limits on the creation of man-animal hybrids using animal sperm and human eggs or human sperm and animal eggs. There are no ethical limits on anything.”

There are no ethical limits on anything.

Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), joined by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has introduced S. 658, legislation that would ban the cloning of human beings in this country. Its companion bill, H.R. 1357 known as the Weldon/Stupak bill, passed in the House in 2001 and 2003 but remains bottled up in the Senate.

While Germany, France, Norway, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland all have enacted bans on all forms of human cloning, the United States allows whatever assault on the dignity of human beings that anybody can think up! And, what are they thinking up? For example, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have teamed up on a bill that would allow human embryos to be cloned as long as they are killed prior to implantation in a woman’s womb. It would also ban allowing a human embryo to develop past 14 days. It is hard to believe that members of the United States Senate would even suggest that such a thing as creating human beings and killing them for research is acceptable. But it is true.

Banning the cloning of human beings must be done. But that won’t solve the problem of human embryo experimentation. The hundreds of thousands of embryos currently frozen in liquid nitrogen in IVF clinics are at risk unless the Bush policy is replaced by a total, across-the-board ban on medical research that involves the killing of human embryos whether cloned or generated in an IVF petri dish. Funding should not be an issue. The practice should be illegal — period.

If anyone who is reading this is not a former embryo read no farther. But if you understand that you came into being like the rest of the human race, starting out as a 46 chromosome single-cell human being, developing through the stages of embryo, fetus, newborn (neonate), infant, child, adolescent to adulthood, then you will realize that you, your children and your grandchildren have an enormous stake in how America responds to this challenge. If you know your Member of Congress and/or your Senators on a personal level, let us know by e-mail at [email protected]. As always, thank you for your dedication to the cause of life.

Republican National
Coalition for Life

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