The Wilberforce Forum

Colson and Cameron Welcome President’s Bioethics Council Report Plan Calls for Combined Moratorium and Ban

Date: 07/11/2002

July 11, 2002

WASHINGTON – “This is a great beginning,” stated Chuck Colson, chairman of The Wilberforce Forum, and Nigel Cameron, Ph.D., Dean of The Wilberforce Forum. “It sets us firmly on the road to a comprehensive ban on this appallingly unethical technology.”

In the week when Ted Williams’ body has been hidden so he may one day be cloned, the President’s Council on Bioethics’ long-awaited report recommends a total ban on cloning babies and a four-year halt in cloning embryos for experimentation.

The report contains elements of compromise. Despite press efforts to portray the Council’s members as “extreme” conservatives, they have taken different views. Nearly half the Council members want a complete cloning ban inline with Senators Brownback and Landrieu’s bill (S. 1899). Others favor permitting experiments on clonal embryos, though no members want cloned babies to be born. A middle group have thrown their weight behind a serious delay while the ethical issues are fully debated.

Since the Council was established by the president, it is unfortunate that it has not fully endorsed his policy to ban all cloning. But we salute the work of Dr. Leon Kass, chairman of the Council, in focusing the discussion so clearly in the direction of serious ethical debate in place of precipitate wide-scale human experimentation. A four-year moratorium will allow time for adult stem-cell work to prove itself, and puncture the ridiculous pressure from the biotechology industry and its congressional sponsors to build embryo farms.

The report gives fresh impetus to passage of S. 1899, endorsed by the President, which would ban all cloning. So should two other widely ignored factors. The cloning ban has had the support of pro-choice as well as pro-life sponsors, and other nations around the world are steadily moving into line behind a “Brownback-Landrieu” approach.

A few weeks ago, Japan acted to ban all cloning. Last week, Norway introduced government-backed legislation to do the same thing. The Canadians have a similar agenda. The tide is turning against mad unethical science and in favor of human dignity.

Colson and Cameron concluded, “Dr. Kass’ report helps move us decisively toward a cloning ban, and we welcome the work of the Council to that end.”

The Wilberforce Forum is a Christian worldview institute affiliated with Prison Fellowship Ministries in Washington, D.C., led by Dean Nigel M. de S. Cameron, Ph.D., The Wilberforce Forum seeks to foster the renewal of culture with a well-reasoned worldview apologetic, to stimulate thought and dialogue, and to bring about a more substantial engagement of contemporary culture and the ideas that inform it.