European parliament further isolates Blair on cloning
21 November 2002
European parliament further isolates Blair on cloning London, 21 November 2002--Pro-lifers have applauded the European parliament for today's vote in favour of a complete ban on human cloning, both for reproductive and therapeutic purposes. MEPs voted by 271 to 154 in favour of an amendment to a report on life sciences and biotechnology which calls on the European commission and EU member states to push for a comprehensive cloning ban. The amended paragraph states that the European parliament "solemnly reaffirms that the life and dignity of all human beings, whatever their stage of development and state of health, must be respected and is opposed to any form of research or use of life sciences and biotechnology that runs counter to this fundamental principle." Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), said: "We are delighted by this vote. It represents a clear rebuff of the Franco-German proposal at the United Nations for an international convention intended only to ban cloning for reproductive purposes, and further isolates the British government, which continues to support so-called therapeutic cloning despite the greater potential of ethical adult stem cell technology. "The European parliament stated in 2000 that attempts to distinguish between 'therapeutic' and 'reproductive' cloning were merely examples of 'linguistic sleight of hand'. Indeed, all cloning is 'reproductive' insofar as a new and distinct human person is brought into being whatever the intended use to which the embryo will be put. "There is an emerging international consensus against human cloning for all purposes. The UK remains the only western country whose parliament has voted to allow the creation and destruction of cloned embryos in research, a decision which was pushed through with the active support of Tony Blair."