Requisite Destruction of Human Embryos Runs Counter to U.S. Legal Traditions

Date: 03/26/2002

A ban prohibiting only “reproductive” cloning (while allowing so-called “therapeutic” cloning and its requisite destruction of human embryos) would run seriously counter to well-ensconced U.S. legal tradition. While many might expect that the destruction of cloned human embryos would be permissible in a society that legalized abortion over a quarter of a century ago, abortion laws do not apply to the extracorporeal human embryo, for whom the woman’s “health” and “right to choose” has no relevance. While it is true that embryos created in IVF clinics may be destroyed if that is the parents’ desire, the destruction of embryos intentionally created for research is an altogether different matter.