SPUC vows to fight human cloning: battle starts today
31 October 2000
SPUC vows to fight human cloning: "battle starts today" Westminster, 31 October 2000--As MPs today rejected Dr Evan Harris's bill to allow human cloning, John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: "This is a healthy start to our campaign against human cloning. However, while Dr Harris' bill has failed, I have had a letter from the government this week which made it clear that they will be introducing regulations to facilitate research on cloned human embryos before the year is out. "Tony Blair has given his personal support to destructive research on human embryos. The government mistakenly claims that research on cloned human embryos does not raise any new ethical issues. I am astonished at their blindness. "Cloning involves the creation of human life. The type of cloning which they call "therapeutic" inevitably leads to that embryo's being killed when tissue is removed for the scientists' purposes. The cloning called "reproductive" will produce people whose status in society will be, at best, unclear, and at worst, second-class citizens. Either way, if the government allows cloning, it will be taking British science and medicine into a minefield of ethical issues where the first casualties will be human beings at the most vulnerable stage in their lives. "It's important that our supporters and church leaders realise that the battle starts today." MPs rejected Dr Harris' 10-minute rule bill by 175 votes to 83--more than two-to-one.