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Clone the French! Don't worry: Just their cloning law

Wesley J. Smith

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Big News! The French parliament just passed the Brownback-Landrieu Bill outlawing all human cloning. Well, not the exact bill: Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) and Mary Landrieu (D., La.) are not French legislators. But France has accomplished an important feat that a filibuster in the U.S. Senate has frustrated in our own country: making both reproductive and therapeutic cloning against the law.

Most people favor banning reproductive cloning out of safety concerns. But many in the science and bioethics establishments fervently seek a legal license to clone human life for use in medical experiments or as a source of embryonic stem cells for medical treatments. These advocates often demonize therapeutic-cloning opponents as "anti-science" religionists. But that demagoguery is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain: France is the free world's most secular nation, and it keeps religious concerns completely out of public policy. Moreover, other distinctly secular and "progressive" countries have also recently outlawed all human cloning, including Norway, Australia, and Canada.

Unfortunately, the fact that most of the world's cloning opponents aren't Taliban types hasn't penetrated the iron-plated skulls of the mainstream American media, which continue to happily chant the mindless mantra that therapeutic-cloning opponents want to impose their religious views on the country. Such two-dimensional reportage does the country a disservice by obfuscating the substantial arguments being made against human cloning -- arguments that are increasingly resonating overseas.

In a nutshell, the anti-cloning case can be divided into four general categories: morality, practicality, consequences, and priorities.

Read the entire article on the National Review Online website.

Posted: 7/16/04



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