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Senate to Vote Soon on Human Cloning Amendment

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  • right2life@aol.com
    Senate to Vote Soon on Human Cloning Amendment Source: National Right to Life; October 31, 2001 [Pro-Life Infonet Note: The following is a letter to U.S.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1 12:03 AM
      Senate to Vote Soon on Human Cloning Amendment
      Source: National Right to Life; October 31, 2001

      [Pro-Life Infonet Note: The following is a letter to U.S. Senators from
      National Right to Life concerning an upcoming vote on an amendment from
      pro-life Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). The pro-life amendment addresses the
      issue of human cloning and the destruction of unborn children. The Senate
      could vote on this issue as early as Thursday. Please contact your two U.S.
      Senators at 202-224-3121 and encourage them to support the Brownback
      amendment and oppose any weakening amendments.]

      --
      Dear Senator:

      The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) strongly urges you to support an
      amendment that Senator Brownback may offer to the Health and Human Services
      appropriations bill (H.R. 3061) to ban human cloning.

      The Brownback amendment tracks the language of the Weldon-Stupak bill (H.R.
      2505), passed by the House of Representatives on July 31 by a bipartisan vote

      of 265-162. This amendment does not concern abortion (which is why the
      National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League takes no position on
      the proposal), but the amendment does address an urgent threat to human life.


      Each human embryo created by cloning will be an individual member of the
      species homo sapiens, not an inanimate commodity. NRLC believes that human
      beings should not be created to be "harvested" for their parts. On July 12,
      the Washington Post reported that a major biotechnology firm, Advanced Cell
      Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts, already has a project underway to
      mass-produce human embryos by cloning, for the sole purpose of using these
      embryos in medical experimentation that will kill them. Distinct from that
      project, two other physicians -- Severino Antinori and Panayiotis Zavos --
      say that they may "attempt the first production of embryos, [human] cloned
      embryos" within the next few months. (Reuters, Oct. 5, 2001)

      Multiple public opinion polls demonstrate that the public favors a ban on
      human cloning -- including cloning of human embryos for so-called
      "therapeutic" purposes -- by overwhelming margins. For example, a national
      poll of adult Americans conducted in early June by International
      Communications Research asked, "Should scientists be allowed to use human
      cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical
      research?," to which 86% replied "no," while only 10% replied "yes." (See
      below for additional poll results.)

      We anticipate that an attempt will be made to gut Senator Brownback's
      amendment through a second-degree amendment that would allow the cloning of
      human embryos, but prohibit the implantation of a cloned embryo in a woman's
      womb. This approach -- which was presented to the House in the form of the
      Greenwood substitute amendment, and decisively rejected -- would give a green

      light to establishment of human embryo farms, but would also impose an
      unprecedented federal mandate that a certain class of human individuals must
      be killed, with severe penalties for non-compliance. Under such a law, if
      federal law enforcement authorities learned that a researcher or private
      individual planned to actually implant any cloned embryos in women's wombs,
      they would intervene to ensure that every human embryo dies.

      Recently, some pro-cloning advocates have undertaken a brazen exercise in
      Orwellian "newspeak": They have claimed that human cloning would not
      actually produce a "human embryo." This recently contrived linguistic
      cloaking device is an insult to the intelligence of members of the Senate and

      of the public. As President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission

      acknowledged in its 1997 report Cloning Human Beings, "any effort in humans
      to transfer a somatic cell nucleus into an enucleated egg involves the
      creation of an embryo, with the apparent potential to be implanted in utero
      and developed to term." Numerous other scientific panels and cloning
      researchers have acknowledged that the somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning
      method will produce human embryos (see
      www.nrlc.org/Killing_Embryos/factsheetembryo.html).

      NRLC also strongly supports a second amendment that may be offered by Senator

      Brownback, to ban the creation of human embryos through in vitro
      fertilization for the specific purpose of using them in lethal medical
      experimentation. Last July, a private firm, the Jones Institute for
      Reproductive Medicine in Norfolk, Virginia, acknowledged that it had paid men

      and women to provide sperm and eggs in order to specially create 110 human
      embryos for the purpose of killing them by extracting their stem cells.

      We anticipate that any roll calls that occur on these amendments will be
      included in NRLC's "scorecard" of key votes for the 107th Congress.

      Thank you for your consideration of NRLC's perspective on these critical
      issues.

      Sincerely,
      Douglas Johnson
      NRLC Legislative Director


      Recent Polls on Human Cloning

      ABC News/Beliefnet, August 8-12, 2001. "Should it be legal in the U.S. to
      clone humans?" Yes, 11%. No, 87% (men 16/82, women 6/93). "Clone humans
      for medical treatments?" Yes, 33%. No, 63% (men 41/56, women 27/70).

      CNN/USA Today/Gallup, August 3-5, 2001. The federal government should fund
      research on stem cells from embryos cloned from human cells: [percentage that

      approves] 28%.

      International Communications Research, June 1-5, 2001. "Should scientists be

      allowed to use human cloning to try to create children for infertile
      couples?" Yes, 12%. No, 85%. "Should scientists be allowed to use human
      cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical
      research?" Yes, 10%. No, 86%.

      Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, April 18-19, 2001. "As you may know, scientists
      have made advances in cloning, where they can reproduce a whole animal from a

      single cell. Do you think it is acceptable to use cloning to: Reproduce
      humans? Acceptable, 6%. Not acceptable, 90%.

      Time/CNN, Feb. 7-8, 2001: "In general, do you think it is a good idea or a
      bad idea to clone human beings?" Good idea, 7%. Bad idea, 90%. "Do you
      think scientists should be allowed to clone human beings or don't you think
      so?" Should be allowed, 10%. Should not be allowed, 88%.

      --
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