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Scientists confirm fears over carbon copy babies

30 August 2000

Scientists confirm fears over carbon-copy babies Westminster, 30 August, 2000--A survey of medical scientists has confirmed pro-life activists' fears that cloned human babies will become a reality in the near future. Most respondents to the survey, published in today's Independent, agreed that the introduction of cloning for spare body-parts would mean that cloning for reproductive purposes would follow shortly. Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: "Once you allow cloning techniques to be conducted to generate embryos in the laboratory, someone will want to bring a clone to birth. This shows the Donaldson committee's glossy report-welcomed by the Government last week-to be a fiasco. The proposal to allow research into human cloning to go ahead, but to ban the birth of cloned babies, appears in the light of this survey to be an elaborate sham." In May, SPUC had said: "Despite current assurances from scientists that such cloning is not on the agenda, it would be impossible to prevent all proliferation of technology to less scrupulous countries and individuals. Many complications and problems would then result." (press release, 16 May 2000) Mr. Tully went on to say: "This survey demonstrates the contempt that the pro-cloning scientists and politicians have for public opinion. They know that public opinion, both domestic and international, is strongly opposed to human cloning and they are trying to soften it up. All forms of human cloning involve undermining human dignity and are unacceptable. We are equally opposed to cloning for research and other purposes, but this survey confirms our fears about the intentions of scientists. Reproductive cloning could have disturbing effects on the whole of society." SPUC has called for the withdrawal of the British Government's acceptance of the Donaldson report which recommends that human cloning be allowed. It will be writing to opposition MPs to brief them on the government's legislative intentions on cloning.

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