Bishop Baker’s statement on cloning of human embryos


With the announcement of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) of Worcester, Mass., that it has cloned a human embryo for research in “regenerative medicine,” society is faced with a new attack on innocent human life. In its 1987 document, Donum Vitae (“The Gift of Life”), the Catholic Church formally taught that attempts “for obtaining a human being without any connection with sexuality through ‘twin fission,’ cloning or parthenogenesis are to be considered contrary to the moral law, since they are in opposition to the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union.”

This effort is also morally reprehensible because in the case of so-called therapeutic cloning the human embryo would be destroyed in the attempt by scientists to use the embryo or its cells to develop therapies for people who are ill or disabled. Human life in its origins must be regarded as inviolable and cannot be subjected to such research.

I commend President Bush for his statement opposing human cloning and his call to Congress to outlaw the procedure. All states must enact laws and establish policies which ban the engendering of human life through cloning, parthenogenesis or twin fission and which will protect human life from its very beginning.