Thursday, September 21, 2006

Stem-Cell Research : Sorting Through the Cloning Spin

Julie Schmit-Albin of Nebraska Right to Life sounded a warning in the OWH about the Missouri ballot measure that would enshrine embryo-destructive research and cloning in the Show Me state. The way the Missouri ballot advocates present cloning is a classic example of the word games being played in this debate.

A beautiful full-color brochure promoting the Missouri ballot measure says: "Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (is) a new medical breakthrough that provides a way to use a patient's own cell and a donated, unfertilized egg to create embryonic stem cells in a lab dish. Embryonic stem-cell research does not involve abortion. And, making stem cells in a lab dish is not the same thing as cloning a human being."

That's a lie. It's not just a falsehood. It's a lie. The people proclaiming it know it's not true. It is a form of abortion because it does create and then destroy human beings.

They make it sound like cloning produces a bunch of cells in a lab dish. Cloning produces a new human being. The new human being may have the same genetic code as the human being who provided the donor cell from which the clone was made, but the clone is a distinct, unique, separate human being.

We have the equivalent of clones walking around among us now. They're called identical twins, people with the same genetic code. Twins are not physical extensions of each other. They are separate, distinct, unique human beings.

Back to the Missouri proposal. Once the clone is produced and destroyed and the stem cells are harvested, then the stem cells are put in a lab dish and grown. So eventually you end up with cells in a lab dish, but that's after you have destroyed a human being at the embryonic stage to get those stem cells.

The policy championed in Missouri should be called "clone and kill." Produce a human being by cloning and then kill it for research. That's what is proposed.

Click here for Julie Schmit-Albin's commentary.

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