WASHINGTON (February 5, 2003) -- Today Senators Hatch and Feinstein introduced legislation which authorizes the creation of human clones to become the raw material for medical experiments. The bill, S. 303, is entitled, "Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act of 2003."
"Despite the bill's deceptive label, it authorizes the cloning of human embryos for research," said Cathy Cleaver, Director of Planning and Information for the Pro-Life Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In the human cloning debate, some talk of "reproductive cloning" and "therapeutic cloning," leaving the impression that these are two different methods of cloning. They are not. The exact same process is followed. "The Hatch/Feinstein bill supports somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is simply the scientific name for cloning," Cleaver said.
In a January 29 hearing Senator Hatch made it clear that his bill intends to "ban the birth of cloned babies" while allowing use of cloning to create human embryos for "life-saving" research. "The supposed medical benefits of human cloning remain a pipe dream, but this bill's threat to human life and dignity is real and immediate," Cleaver said.
The bill makes it a crime to let a cloned human embryo live past 14 days. "If this bill were to become federal law, the United States would be in the disgraceful position of mandating the death of a class of human beings before birth. Such contempt for human life must be rejected," Cleaver said.
"We urge Congress to reject this deceptive approach and approve the real ban on human cloning introduced by Senators Brownback and Landrieu, S. 245," she said.