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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

It Ain’t Only About Embryonic Stem Cells Anymore



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Awhile back, in National Review Online I wrote about a Washington State Senate Bill that would permit human cloning and the farming of cloned fetuses. Chuck Colson picked up the scent in his popular Breakpoint commentary which is read by millions of people. Soon afterwards, I discovered a nearly identical bill had been put in the hopper in Minnesota, which was subsequently duly noted in NRO's blog, The Corner.

Now, the cloning companion bill (HB 1268)has been introduced in the Washington House. There are some minor differences, but as the French say, "plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose." True, the House bill would establish an institute similar to that created in California's Proposition 71 to watch over the research to ensure it remained ethical. But given that the institute's members would only be cloning proponents--no biotech skeptics need apply--such a provision would be more veneer than substance. There are also other additions designed to make it appear that the cloning and embryonic stem cell research would be conducted ethically.

However, at their cores, both the House and Senate bills would permit cloned fetal farming. Like the Senate, the House bill would explicitly permit human cloning. And, like the Senate bill, it would also permit cloned fetal farming by prohibiting the "cloning of a human being," while defining the concept politically (instead of biologically) as implanting the cloned embryo in order to bring about the birth of a cloned baby. Thus, under both bills, if the purpose of cloning and implantation is the gestation of a cloned fetus for use in medical experiments or body part harvesting, no law would be broken.

It is telling that New Jersey has already legalized cloning and gestation through the ninth month. Moreover, NONE of this year's crop of state legislation intended to legalize therapeutic cloning would place outright bans on implanting cloned embryos into real or artificial wombs. Not one.

This can only mean that there is a design and a purpose behind these proposals. The movers and shakers behind these bills want access to cloned fetuses when, technologically, they can be created. In other words, it ain't just about embryonic stem cells anymore.

What a story! Yet, it is goes unreported by the mainstream media. Which raises two crucial questions: Why are journalists ignoring such an important development in the cloning controversy; and, what do the cloners intend to do with their broad cloning and gestating state licenses?


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