WASHINGTON (BP)–The announcement of the birth of a cloned baby, whether true or not, demonstrates why the United States should act soon to prohibit all human cloning, pro-life leaders said.
Clonaid, a company affiliated with a religious sect that teaches extraterrestrials created life on earth, announced Dec. 27 the clone of a 31-year-old American woman had been born the previous day. The name of the sect is the Raelians.
The seven-pound girl was born by Caesarean section, said Clonaid head Brigitte Boisselier, according to Associated Press. The site of her birth was not disclosed, however. Clonaid offered no proof in support of its assertion.
Regardless of the announcement’s validity, spokesmen for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, National Right to Life Committee and Christian Medical Association said Congress should outlaw all cloning.
ERLC President Richard Land also called for Congress to ban cloning for both reproductive and research purposes. Cloning for research results in the destruction of the embryo. Scientists clone embryos in order to obtain stem cells for research into cures for various diseases.
The Clonaid announcement did not surprise him, but it “saddened, concerned and grieved” him, Land said.
“I believe it will lead to Frankenstein fiction becoming Frankenstein fact,” Land said. “Sooner rather than later we are going to be presented with horrific human tragedies coming out of these laboratories.
“There are multitudes of reasons to be very concerned about reproductive cloning. This is a dark and treacherous road down which humanity should not want to travel,” he said.
“If indeed this baby has been successfully born, she is at least in outward appearance the 31-year-old younger identical twin of her mother,” Land said. “Problems may arise such as premature aging. When the 45-year-old mother is going through menopause, will her 14-year-old cloned daughter be going through puberty or menopause? Tragically, that is a very realistic possibility.”
Dolly, the sheep that was the first successfully cloned mammal, is aging prematurely with arthritis, Land said.
David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical Association, said in a written release, “Whether or not this claim is true remains to be proven, but it certainly highlights our need to pass a ban on human cloning before a true tragedy happens.
“Sensible people all over the country are horrified that anyone would attempt to clone a human being given the high probability of deaths and gruesome birth defects. With the high rate of death and deformity experienced in animal cloning and presumably applied to humans as well, even to experiment with human cloning shows a horrible disregard for the value of human life.”
The House of Representatives easily passed in the last session a ban on both reproductive and research cloning. The Senate, however, did not act on a cloning ban. Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., sponsored the only bill that was a comprehensive ban. The other bills barred only reproductive cloning.
The Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution at its 2001 meeting calling for a ban on both reproductive and research cloning.