Cloning reduces procreation to a matter of mere manufacture and transforms human life into an instrumentalized natural resource, whether that life is a nascent cloned embryo created and destroyed for its stem cells or women exploited for their eggs–since an egg is required for each cloning attempt.
One reason the human cloning agenda has stalled is the lack of human eggs. I have been warning that researchers are more than willing to risk the health, fertility–and even the lives–of women to obtain these eggs, and if volunteers won’t put themselves at risk, then they will promote an egg commodities market. And now in Nature News, we see that coming to pass. From the story:
US stem-cell researchers are calling for changes to state laws that prohibit compensating women who donate eggs for research. The laws, in leading stem-cell research states such as Massachusetts and California, are crippling the promising field of ‘therapeutic cloning’ that could produce useful embryonic stem-cell lines for studying various human diseases, they say.
It took Kevin Eggan and Douglas Melton, of Harvard University’s Stem Cell Institute, two years and US $100,000 in local advertising to secure a single egg donor for their attempt to develop embryonic stem-cell lines to model diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The group, which obtained fewer than ten eggs, completed its experiments early this year, Eggan announced last month at a meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction in Kona, Hawaii. They are not yet ready to discuss results.
And don’t think that current egg market bans are in the least principled. Rather, they are public mollifiers deemed necessary by cloning proponents to permit the Brave New World agenda to get on its feet:
The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) guidelines barring compensation were set in part to protect poor people from being exploited by labs that might offer large sums of money–along the lines of rules barring compensation for organ donation. But Alta Charo, a lawyer and bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, who liaised with the NAS committee that set donor-compensation guidelines in 2005, says the move was as much political as ethical. In California, supporters of Proposition 71, which allows funding for stem-cell and cloning research in the absence of federal funding, adopted compensation prohibition in part, Charo claims, “to assuage a fringe group of the women’s movement” that was aligned against the assisted-reproduction community.
Next stop will be the developing world and biological colonialism. We need to not only bar buying and selling eggs for research in this country, but also have international protocols to govern the matter.