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Life News: The technique that the United States and, more seriously, the United Kingdom are considering bringing to the IVF clinic, which creates embryos with three genetic parents, is often “mitochondrial replacement” or “mitochondrial transfer.”
Maureen L. Condic, Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, at Public Discourse: “Proponents of conducting human experiments to generate ‘three-parent embryos’ cast this procedure as a beneficent therapeutic approach to treat women with mitochondrial disease and allow them to bear healthy children. In reality, it is a macabre form of eugenic cloning, in which a human being with a medical condition is killed and his or her parts are used to create a new human being with an improved biological state.”
Brendan Foht at Public Discourse: “A surprising new method for making stem cells offers scientists an easy alternative to destroying human embryos. But there is a disturbing possibility that the technique may create not stem cells but actual cloned embryos.”
Gallup: Their acceptance of gay and lesbian relations has increased the most, up 19 percentage points in the past 12 years — to a record high of 59% today. Americans’ tolerance toward having a baby outside of marriage is also now much greater, up 15 points since 2001, to the current 60%.
Samuel Aquila at National Review: The embryos killed are the first class of victims; the second class of victims will be the rest of us.
Wall Street Journal: Scientists have used cloning technology to transform human skin cells into embryonic stem cells, an experiment that may revive the controversy over human cloning.
Wesley J. Smith at LifeNews: Now, fueling my suspicion, new California legislation has been filed to permit researchers to pay women for undergoing egg extraction–which can cost ”donors” their health, fecundity, even their lives. First, the prices paid would be set by the researchers: From AB 926 . . .
“Wanted: ‘Adventurous woman’ to give birth to Neanderthal man – Harvard professor seeks mother for cloned cave baby”
Daily Mail: They’re usually thought of as a brutish, primitive species. So what woman would want to give birth to a Neanderthal baby? Yet this incredible scenario is the plan of one of the world’s leading geneticists, who is seeking a volunteer to help bring man’s long-extinct close relative back to life. Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can reconstruct Neanderthal DNA and resurrect the species which became extinct 33,000 years ago.
Aarathi Prasad at CNN (includes video): In an article in the UK’s “traditional values” tabloid, the Daily Mail, titled “A Terrifying Future for Female Fertility,” Djerassi said, “There are an enormous number of well-educated, proficient women who, when facing the biological clock, first pay attention to their professional ambitions…in the next 20 years, more young people will freeze their eggs and [sperm] in their 20s, and bank them for later use. They will do away with the need for contraception by being sterilised, and withdraw their eggs and sperm from the bank when they are ready to have a child via IVF.”
Telegraph: Parents who lose children in accidents may be able to clone “copies” to replace them within 50 years, a British scientist who won this year’s Nobel prize for medicine has predicted.
NYTimes.com: ON Nov. 8, Mississippi voters will be asked to decide on a proposed amendment to the state constitution, which would define as a person “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof.”
LifeNews.com: You may or may not have heard that recently a European Union court has ruled that the extraction of embryonic stem cells cannot be patented because it destroys a human embryo.
LiveScience: A team of South Korean scientists led by the Hwang Woo-suk – who made headlines in 2005 for falsely claiming to have extracted stem cells from cloned human embryos – has just announced that they have successfully cloned coyotes for the first time. Here are some answers to a few questions you may have about reproductive cloning.
Minnesota Public Radio News (includes audio): Angered that a 2009 ban on spending state funds on human cloning was dropped from state spending bills during final budget hearings, the state’s largest anti-abortion group is targeting some of its traditional allies.
Rebecca Taylor at LifeNews.com: So SCNT in animals: egg + somatic nucleus = cloned embryo. Got it. But for humans: egg + somatic nucleus = formless group of cells that is smaller than the cross-section of a human hair. Don’t got it.
LifeNews.com: The state of Minnesota is now paying scientists to engage in the grisly practice of human cloning. After the state legislature failed to re-authorize a ban on state funded human cloning during the special session, it is now legal to use taxpayer dollars to create cloned human embryos.
LifeNews.com: ublic funding of human cloning became legal on in Minnesota on July 1 without reauthorization of the state’s current ban on such funding. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life helped to pass the ban on taxpayer funding of human cloning during the 2009 legislative session.
LifeNews: A Missouri pro-life group is concerned taxpayers may be on the hook for funding human cloning or embryonic stem cell research and its wants state legislators to do something about it.
David Prentice writes at LifeNews: So, does the Minnesota Medical Association support the idea of gestating human clones to birth? That’s what their press release a few days ago suggested. But their 2010 policy book states that while MMA supports cloning human embryos for experiments, MMA opposes gestating cloned human embryos to birth (see item 560.13). So which is it?
KARE11.com: Cloning humans would become a felony in Minnesota, if a new bill becomes law. In fact, the bill introduced Wednesday night by Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, would make assisting with such a lab procedure a serious crime.
LifeSiteNews: “The obsession with pluripotent stem cells dominating America’s medical research is not only hindering the progress of far more cost-effective stem cell therapies, but flinging the country headlong toward human reproductive cloning, warns one biotechnology expert.”
Am I My Son? Human Clones and the Modern Family
“As increasingly complex assisted reproductive technologies (ART) become available, legal and social conceptions of family become ambiguous and sometimes misaligned. The as-yet unrealized technology of cloning provides the clearest example of this confusion: is the legal parent of a clone the individual cloned, or are that individual’s parents also the parents of the clone? These issues have been generally obscured by the debates around the deployment of ART, especially cloning; far less consideration has been given to the way these new technologies impact the way we think about and develop law on the relationships between genetic, social, gestational, and legal parenthood. This article considers these issues in depth, looking at competing common-law frameworks for determining parentage, the statutory framework of parentage, and deeper theoretical concerns underlying the area. The article concludes that an intent-based framework, with at least some external limitations, most accurately matches law to social views of parents using new forms of ART.”
LifeNews: “The Discovery Institute played host to a discussion of what it means to be human as a prelude to the 79th annual educational conference in Seattle for the Catholic Medical Association.” Event site.
Wesley J. Smith writing at National Review Online: “Just when you thought the political fight over federal funding of embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR) was over, United States District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that President Obama’s ESCR policy violates the ‘Dickey-Wicker Amendment,’ a federal law barring federal funding of ‘the creation of a human embryo . . . for research purposes’ and ‘research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed.’ In response, a group of lawmakers introduced legislation that would authorize federal funding for human cloning . . . DeGette/Castle/Specter would do more than restore Obama’s ESCR policy. It would also explicitly authorize federal funding of human-cloning research — which is not permitted under the current NIH plan.”
Barbara P. Billauer, Human Reproductive Cloning: Science, Jewish Law and Metaphyics (September 20, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1679907
“In this, Part II, of the paper I expand and annotate statements of the Ramban on the interrelationship of the reproductive faculties of an organism and its soul by examining the development of the spiritual states of plant, animal and human and noting the commensurate evolution with its reproductive facilities. Speculating that the reproductive mechanism of each species is indelibly related to its soul-state, I suggest that interfering with human sexual reproduction by HRC has the same effect the Ramban argues is the result of Kilayim (interbreeding), i.e., wrecking havoc with the Universe.”
LifeNews: “Add human cloning to abortion and assisted suicide as practices pro-life groups oppose but Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan supports. Files released from the Clinton library about Kagan’s time in the Clinton administration show her advocating cloning humans for dubious research.”
LifeNews: “On Tuesday, the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee heard final testimony on SB 243, the ban on human cloning and human-animal hybrids . . .”
LifeSiteNews: “The UK’s Motor Neurone Disease Association has announced it will donate £800,000 (US $1,200,000) to fund human/animal ‘hybrid embryo’ cloning research by the same Edinburgh University team that created ‘Dolly’ the cloned sheep.”
KSFY: “The Coalition for Cures Not Cloning is the new group. They say they’ll be making an official announcement Thursday. The group will be planning efforts to fight a 2010 initiative that would reverse the current ban on cloning and embryonic stem cell research.”
Citizen Link: “Former South Dakota Secretary of State David Volk wants to overturn a state law that bans the creation and destruction of human embryos for research.”
St. Louis Public Radio: “The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office has approved for circulation two ballot initiatives backed by opponents of abortion and of a type of stem cell research some consider to be human cloning.”
Law Library of Congress: “On October 2, 2009, the Minister of Health Care and Social Services of the Russian Federation announced a government decision to extend the ban on human cloning for another five years. This ban was introduced in 2002, and it expired on June 23, 2007. Even though the moratorium has been formally lifted since then, no work on human cloning has been authorized in this heavily regulated field.”
LifeNews: “Sunstein was confirmed by the Senate last week as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Now, reports indicate Sunstein holds pro-abortion and pro-human cloning views that are upsetting for the majority of Americans who are pro-life.”
Constitutional Constraints on the Regulation of Cloning
“Broadly speaking, I will evaluate four different constitutional challenges to a total ban [on cloning]: 1) that such regulations violate researchers’ constitutional right of free scientific inquiry; 2) that such regulations violate individual rights to reproductive freedom; 3) that the former Executive Branch restriction imposed an unconstitutional condition on the availability of government funding; and 4) that neither reproductive nor therapeutic cloning is a permissible subject for congressional enactment, but that both are reserved exclusively for state regulatory authority. Exhaustively evaluating these four possible constitutional objections would require writing at least a small textbook on constitutional law; I will instead be suggestive rather than exhaustive.”
Baptist Press: “Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., has introduced legislation to prohibit the creation of human-animal hybrids. If enacted, the Human-animal Hybrid Prohibition Act, S. 1435, would bar the creation of beings made from the genetic material of both people and animals. Without a ban, such hybrids could be created for research purposes in laboratories.”
LifeNews reports: “Two members of the U.S. Senate who have been behind unsuccessful efforts to ban all forms of human cloning have introduced new legislation with a new approach. They want to ban the use of human cloning to make human-animal hybrids, the kind of research taking place currently in England.”
Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights: “This article does not promote a personhood status and discusses in detail why such status is not correct under the law. The article goes on to propose instead a modified bundle of property rights that could be assigned to the man and woman who created each embryo and a statutory scheme for addressing disputes at the time of divorce and also disposition at the time of death of either of the parties. This article actually shows how using a property rights model will ultimately promote life over destruction while still providing a large degree of protection for individual autonomy.”
Newsday: Ninety-two percent of those polled say that it’s morally wrong for married people to have an affair. Even more wrong than cloning a human, for instance. Only 88 percent of people say that’s wrong . . . Committing suicide? 80 percent. Polygamy? 91 percent . . . ”
Eggs as Capital: Human Egg Procurement in the Fertility Industry and the Stem Cell Research Enterprise
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society: “Science is one arena of national status competition. In competition, both scientists and scientific know-how are deployed in the effort to achieve victory. The prize varies. The meanings attached to that prize shift over time and political space. In the domestic debate about human embryonic stem cell research, one of several pro-research positions is that government funding of human embryonic stem cell research is necessary to maintain U.S. primacy in the international arena. This paper explores some of the material and normative implications of this competition for women.”
Baptist Press reports: “The Oklahoma legislature has unanimously approved a bill to prohibit all forms of human cloning, while Minnesota’s governor has signed a bill prohibiting the use of state funds for human cloning.”
CQ Politics: “Two House members who were the chief backers of legislation to expand embryonic stem cell research are working on a new bill that would codify President Obama’s recent executive order allowing greater federal funding for the research. Their legislation will also contain language allowing the National Institutes of Health to invest in other kinds of research into human cell biology, perhaps including what is known as ‘therapeutic cloning.’”
Culture of Life Foundation: “Recall we said that ESCs possess the quality of pluripotency, that is, the ability to develop themselves from an undifferentiated cellular state into most any differentiated cell type in the human body. This wide-ranging capacity for differentiation—this pluripotency—is the coveted property of ESCs. Defenders of the research dream of a day when the powers of ES cell pluripotency have been fully harnessed.”
Human Life Review: “New technologies are being developed, including same-sex procreation—already successfully done in mice. Reproductive cloning apparently is gaining acceptance, with a recent survey showing 10 percent of fertility-clinic directors saying they would support it for their patients.”
Baptist Press: “Proponents of embryonic stem cell research may soon try to push through the U.S. House of Representatives a bill to approve federal funds for experiments on human embryos — including cloned ones — while falsely claiming that human cloning is being banned, according to a warning from a leading pro-life organization. If successful, the legislation would pave the way for the U.S. government to underwrite ‘human embryo farms,’ the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) said . . . ”
U.S. News: “Over the past few days, George and Kmiec have engaged in a rigorous E-mail debate on the nature of human cloning and other thorny issues surrounding embryonic stem cell research—like whether Catholics who use medical treatments developed from embryonic stem cell research are complicit in what the Roman Catholic Church calls the evil of embryo destruction.”
Terence P. Jeffrey writes at CNSNews: President Obama has shown himself to be a master of what I have called carefully crafted self-contradictions—statements intended to convey one impression to casual listeners but that on close examination turn out to mean …
AFP: “A controversial Italian doctor known for his work allowing post-menopausal women to have children has claimed in an interview to have cloned three babies who are now living in eastern Europe.”
Researchers who tried to use mouse, cow and rabbit eggs to make human clones said on Monday the effort failed to produce workable embryos but added that they showed human cloning should work in principle.
This Essay offers a novel approach that rejects both extremes. I argue that there is no general right to use ARTs as a matter of reproductive autonomy, but there may be a limited right to use ARTs as a matter of reproductive equality. Accordingly, the government could prohibit use of a particular reproductive technology across the board for everyone; however, once the state permits use in some contexts, it should not be able to forbid use of the same technology in other contexts. Hence, all persons must possess an equal right, even if no one retains an absolute right, to use ARTs.
Section I reviews the traditional justifications for granting autonomy with regard to many assisted reproductive techniques and considers whether those justifications are sufficient to envelop an asexual form of human reproduction.
After examining the current state of affairs in science and both state and federal legislation, this paper argues that a cloning ban at the federal level would be ineffective and that the regulation of cloning should be left to the states.
Overall this is a helpful document with several important updates and clarifications. It should be read by all pro-lifers who pay close attention to bioethical abuses and quandaries, or who want to learn.
Our political debates about stem cell research in recent years have stood in a peculiar relation to public opinion. Rather than seek to marshal public sentiment, or even quite build public support, all sides have wanted to claim a preexisting bedrock of widely shared attitudes backing their favored policy outcome.
LifeNews.com reports: he Ohio legislature sent Gov. Ted Strickland a biotech bill that doesn’t contain a ban on human cloning the way pro-life advocates wanted. The measure has only a more modest ban on forcing taxpayers to fund human cloning …
LifeNews.com reports: “The Louisiana Senate, on Tuesday, voted unanimously to approve legislation that bans state taxpayer funding of human cloning. The bill prohibits using any state funds on either reproductive or research-based human cloning and the Senate vote follows a …
The bill permits the creation of so-called “savior siblings”—children created through IVF who are tested to ensure that they are genetically compatible with older siblings who might need a tissue match for therapeutic purposes.
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan crafted insufficient, unfair and biased ballot summary language that has resulted in yet another delay in the battle over whether a proposed constitutional amendment on preventing human cloning will go before the voters in 2008 . . .
“Until now, the cloning debate has been hopelessly entangled with the stem cell debate, where the friends and the enemies of embryonic stem cell research have managed to produce a legislative stalemate on cloning . . .”
Family First reports: "The Unicameral’s Judiciary Committee today advanced a bill which would place a public ban on human cloning. LB 606 would prohibit the use of public funds and facilities 1) to destroy existing human embryos and 2) create …
“Looking back on his presidency, Bush said he was proud that he kept the federal government from crossing an important moral line and allowing federal funding of new embryonic stem cell research involving the destruction of human life.”