WASHINGTON (March 8, 2005) – After years of debate, the United Nations has passed a declaration urging member nations to adopt laws banning all forms of human cloning. The resolution calls on governments to "prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life." It was ratified by the General Assembly by a vote of 84 to 34, with 37 members abstaining.
"The UN's new declaration against all forms of human cloning is a powerful statement in favor of the dignity and inviolability of human life," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., Director of Planning and Information for the Pro-Life Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. "And it provides no support for so-called 'therapeutic cloning' which treats human life as a commodity to be created for experimentation."
Ruse also commended the declaration's call to "prevent the exploitation of women."
"Allowing human cloning for experimentation would require countless numbers of women to surrender their eggs by an extraction process that is both painful and dangerous," said Ruse. "We commend the UN for recognizing in its declaration that making women into egg factories is an utterly demeaning proposition."
The UN action will have a profound impact on human cloning debates around the world, including in the United States. For several years, efforts in the U.S. Congress to ban human cloning have been thwarted by members who favor the creation of human embryos for the purpose of experimentation that is fatal to them. But the UN declaration condemned all forms of human cloning without exempting this so-called "therapeutic" or "research" cloning.