Yuri Mantilla

Briefing for Senate Staff on Cloning – Yuri Mantilla

Date: 04/10/2002

Statement by Yuri Mantilla, LLM, MA
Counsel for Hispanic Affairs and Human Rights
Family Research Council


The international human rights system was created as a reaction to the atrocities committed in World War II. Today, we are facing similar atrocities, but with different names. The cloning of human beings represents a gross violation of fundamental human rights norms including the right to life, the right of non-discrimination and the right to equality.

Cloning is often discussed as if there were two different kinds of cloning, “therapeutic” and “reproductive.” In reality, there is only one type of cloning, “reproductive.” Once a human embryo has been created, all human rights norms and principles are applicable to that human person.

Human cloning violates fundamental human rights. In therapeutic cloning, the human embryo is created to be killed and used in research experiments. This is a violation of the right to life, which is recognized as a fundamental human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Inter – American Convention of Human Rights and other important international instruments.

The cloning of human beings is also a violation of the Nuremberg Code, which was written in response to the atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. According to the code: ‘No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur.” So-called “therapeutic cloning” kills embryonic human beings and therefore violates the Nuremberg Code.

We must continue to defend and promote fundamental human rights and we must reject attempts to use human persons as objects of lethal experimentation.

Human cloning exploits women, promotes racists views of life and is a form of slavery. Cloning reduces a class of human beings to the status of objects and property.

According to a Time/CNN poll, 90% of Americans oppose human cloning. Hispanic culture highly values the life of the child, before and after birth. Because of this, I ask the Hispanic community to oppose any bill that seeks to legalize the cloning of human beings. We must understand that there is no such thing as “therapeutic cloning.” Respect for human dignity, since the time of conception, of each human being is the foundation for the moral, economic and social development of any civilized nation.

In what kind of world are we going to live?

One in which respect for human rights and dignity are the foundation of society, or one in which might makes right?

The promotion of human rights and human dignity should prevail against the financial power of the bio-technologyical industry and its attempts to promote human cloning.

Yes to human dignity and human rights!

Yes to the Brownback/Landrieu Bill!

No to human cloning!

Together we can!

Juntos Podemos!