National Right to Life

National Right to Life Urges Rapid Senate Approval of Bill to Ban Cloned Human Embryo Farming

Date: 11/25/2001

November 25, 2001

The following statement was issued by NRLC in response to the report by persons associated with Advanced Cell Technology, a Massachusetts biotech firm, that they have created human embryos by cloning.  This statement may be attributed to NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson:

“This corporation is creating human embryos for the sole purpose of killing them and harvesting their cells.  Unless Congress acts quickly, this corporation and others will be opening human embryo farms.”

On July 31, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 265-162 in favor of the Weldon-Stupak bill (H.R. 2505), which would ban all cloning of human beings, including human embryos.  The U.S. Senate is currently scheduled to vote on such legislation in February or March.  Johnson said that in light of today’s report, the Senate should act immediately to approve the ban on human cloning.   “Any senator who votes against the ban on human cloning will be voting to approve human embryo farms opening for business soon,” Johnson said.

One defender of the Advanced Cell Technology cloning experiments reportedly claimed that the embryos were not “human” life, but “cellular” life.   Johnson commented, “Each of us began our individual life as an embryo.  We were human when we were embryos, and these cloned embryos are human lives, too.  Once begun, human lives — including human lives begun by cloning — should be protected, not killed to provide biological raw material.”