The Cloning Ban

  This week the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) visits the Senate. BIO will spend two days lobbying to convince your senators to vote against the Brownback-Landrieu total ban on human cloning, S. 1899. What those senators need to do is say "no" to BIO and to join the House in passing a bill, Brownback-Landrieu, that will prevent the creation and killing of embryonic human beings. The reasons to oppose human cloning were summed up beautifully by Dr. David Stevens, a physician and Executive Director of the Christian Medical Association. Human cloning is always wrong, says Dr. Stevens, because it's immoral -- it always kills. So-called "therapeutic" or "research" cloning manufactures human beings in order to obtain stem cells, a process that kills the human embryo. In fact, legislation has been proposed that will allow cloning for experimentation and make it a crime to let the cloned embryos live -- it demands their death. It's utterly immoral. Second, Dr. Stevens went on, human cloning is wrong because it's unnecessary. Embryonic stem cell research on animals has been going on for years and has yet to show any medical benefit. By contrast, adult stem cells are being used to treat diseases today. In Canada, doctors took stem cells from a man with Parkinson's disease, coaxed those stem cells to become nerve cells, and implanted them in the patient's brain. His symptoms were reduced 80 percent. Adult stem cells show great promise -- and, unlike embryonic stem cells, it's ethical medicine. Third, said Dr. Stevens, human cloning is wrong because it's dangerous -- dangerous to women. The raw material of human cloning is human eggs. These are harvested from women by giving them high doses of hormones and performing an invasive procedure. The number of eggs necessary for any commercial therapy is so large that many feminists oppose human cloning because it will most certainly exploit women. Human cloning is dangerous to patients. Stem cells taken from cloned embryos are not normal, and there is a high risk of mutation. In addition embryonic stem cells seem to experience uncontrollable growth, hence, they become cancerous. Human cloning is dangerous to medicine. The first great principle of medical ethics is: "Do no harm." Spelling this out, the Nuremberg Code, written in response to lethal Nazi experimentation on human subjects, says, "No experiment should be conducted where there is a prior reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur." Human cloning violates the Nuremberg Code. Dr. Stevens ended by saying that human cloning is dangerous to senators. Why? -- because 80 percent of Americans oppose cloning for any reason, and Christians can't help but oppose it. I want to encourage you -- especially if you live in Missouri, Georgia, Indiana, and South Dakota -- to call your two senators. Tell them you support a total ban on human cloning, and urge them to vote for the Brownback-Landrieu bill, S. 1899. For more information, call us here at BreakPoint (1- 800-995-8777) or visit us online at for a copy of our cloning fact sheet. This is the great moral issue of the day and a fight we must win.   Take Action: Some U.S. Senators are still undecided about a total ban on human cloning! Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 to connect with your senators, and urge them to support S. 1899, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act. Call today!   Public opinion on cloning: "Poll on American Support of Human Cloning," conducted by the polling company for Stop Human Cloning, 13-15 April 2002. Robert Novak, "Biodemocratic Party," Washington Post, 22 April 2002. Ramesh Ponnuru, "Cloning: The Polls," National Review, 24 April 2002. "Public Makes Distinctions on Genetic Research," Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 9 April 2002. For further reading and information: "Bioethics and the Christian: A 'BreakPoint' Conversation with Joni Eareckson Tada" You can read President Bush's statement on human cloning at the Wilberforce Forum's website. You can read the Nuremberg Code here and the Hippocratic Oath here. Andy Coghlan, "Clone pregnancy risks womb cancer," New Scientist, 10 April 2002.


Chuck Colson


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