Concerned Women for America

Cloning Shows Utter Disregard for Human Life Biotech Industry Uses Patients as Pawns in Drive to Produce Humans as Spare Parts

Date: 11/26/2001

November 26, 2001

Washington, D.C. – Advanced Cell Technology announced this weekend it cloned human embryos, an act of utter disregard for human life. Cloning is the manufacture of human embryos to use as raw material for experimentation. Noble excuses cannot hide the ignoble process that views the smallest of human beings as spare parts.

Supporters of cloning look for excuses to turn human beings into commodities. But what patients of debilitating diseases need are cures, not scientists who push controversial and dangerous theories to get attention and funding for themselves.

And cures are being found – through ethical research. Every week new discoveries are announced, yet they receive no attention because they are not controversial. On November 12, Japanese scientists reported that adult stem cells taken from patients’ own hip bones were used to repair heart damage. Scientists at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia reported on November 11 that they can convert adult human bone marrow cells into brain cells in the laboratory.

Stem cells from adults and umbilical cord blood are already being used to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, to regenerate muscle tissue and to form cartilage and bone tissue. This bypasses the problem of donor rejection, as the patient is the donor. There is no need to go through the immoral and dangerous process of cloning when stem cells can be safely obtained directly from the patient.

In the biotech industry’s drive to have no barriers, no questions asked, no limits on their Frankenstein experiments, patients are being used as pawns and given false hopes. Treatments for debilitating diseases exist using ethical means. Other treatments could become viable if given the funding and attention being lavished on cloning and embryonic stem cells.

Sandy Rios, President of Concerned Women for America, stated:

“We’ve been down this road before: the seductive promise of embryonic stem cells to heal the living sick.

“And, now the dramatic announcement. It could actually happen. Embryonic stem cells cloned to prevent rejection, a near guarantee of wholeness, or at least the potential of that, from the justifiably excited voices of the scientific community. But, missing amidst the glee is what that community prides itself on, and that is all the facts.

“Missing is the equally profound truth that embryonic stem cells are not the only hope for these promising cures. Adult stem cells will do and are doing just as well, and do not present to us the ethical dilemma of reproducing human beings for their usable parts.

“The virtue of this latest announcement is that this method is supposed to be ‘therapeutic.’ Somehow that word is supposed to make us feel better about using our offspring as disposable parts. Can anyone now say she is totally comfortable with that thought? Can we know with assurance that it is OK to use future generations thus?

“Is there a line we should draw, and if so who should draw it? Should scientists excited in the moment, driven by their need to discover, or the corporations who hire them, driven by their desire for profit, decide?

“In particular, should Advance Cell Technology, who three years ago reported making embryos by implanting human skin cells into cow eggs, decide? Ethicists, theologians, or just plain American citizens are in a better position to be objective about the morality of “marketing” and “producing” human life for healing purposes.

“We call on the Senate to take up the ban on human cloning, which the House has already approved and President Bush is eager to sign.”

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.