Pro lifers attack government on cloning
19 April 2001
Pro-lifers attack government on cloning Westminster, 19 April 2001--Pro-life campaigners have launched a scathing attack on plans to introduce new legislation on human cloning. Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: "Mr Alan Milburn's announcement is a blatant attempt to obscure the Government's promotion of human cloning. He introduces secondary issues like life insurance and NHS staffing and speaks in vague terms of a 'genetic revolution' and 'genetic underclass'. It seems to be a desperate attempt to talk about everything but the ethics of creating cloned human beings in the laboratory. "The government clearly supports human cloning to generate embryos for spare-parts surgery, and 'reproductive cloning' which is already practised as part of genetic screening techniques licensed by the embryology authority. "It is clear from the Government's actions, if not from Mr Milburn's words, that the new legislation will neither stop the creation of cloned human embryos, nor give them proper protection once they have been created. Reports suggest it will reinforce the prejudice against clones by demanding that they are destroyed after they have been plundered for 'spare parts'. "There are a number of serious concerns we have over these proposals: Will the law require informed consent before a carbon copy of a person is generated? It is appalling to think that genetic copies of people could be generated without permission. However, such permission would be a double edged sword: if it were required it would create a 'right to be cloned' climate, with those unable to afford the technology demanding that the NHS pay for creating a 'spare parts duplicate' of them."