Yesterday morning I was honored to appear at a press conference at the State Capitol to stand in solidarity with Nebraska State Senator Mark Christensen from Imperial, Greg Schleppenbach of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, Julie Schmit-Albin of Nebraska Right to Life, and others representing several pro-life, pro-family organizations and Christian denominations as we promoted the Human Cloning Prohibition Act, LB 700.
There are several posts in the archives of this blog dealing with cloning -- just use the SEARCH capabilities at the upper left or scan through the Topical Index under Stem Cell Research, Bioethics and /or Eugenics -- but there are a couple which already have dealt expressly with LB 700. Most important in this regard is Can Nebraskans Stop the Cloning?
You'll certainly be hearing more about this very important legislative effort in the days to come and I urge you to make sure that you keep a close watch on Vital Signs Blog and the web sites of the other organizations standing behind LB 700 to get the story you won't otherwise be reading in the World-Herald!
For example, I print below the entire press release read by Greg Schleppenbach this morning:
As representatives of Nebraska's pro-life and pro-family groups, and various religious denominations, we stand united and resolute in our support of the Human Cloning Prohibition Act (LB 700).
The cloning of human beings for any reason is wrong and should be banned in Nebraska. Cloning dehumanizes human procreation and treats human beings as laboratory products, as nothing more than carriers of traits that others find useful.
Cloning human embryos for research (so-called ''therapeutic cloning'') demeans life by manufacturing new human lives solely to destroy them and harvest their stem cells. Cloning embryos for live birth (so-called "'reproductive cloning") violates human dignity, subjecting the child to other people's preconceived blueprints for the "perfect"' or wanted child. In addition, attempts at live birth would involve the "trial and error"' deaths of countless developing humans and any cloned humans who survive will likely suffer from devastating health problems. LB 700 would prohibit the cloning of human embryos both for research and for live birth.
Just a few short years ago. the Nebraska Legislature (and the general public) debated about whether or not it is ethical to use fetal tissue from induced abortions in medical research. Those who supported the research said it should be allowed as long as it was not causing more abortions. In other words, this ethical boundary on biomedical research supposedly rejected the destruction of human life solely for research purposes.
In very short order, however, this ethical boundary was dismissed by researchers and others in Nebraska who now advocate for embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). This research does what was supposedly rejected as unethical with fetal tissue research: it intentionally destroys human life solely to provide stem cells for research. Consequently, ESCR advocates simply established a new ethical boundary: One that would allow destroying unused human embryos produced for fertility purposes, but that would reject the manufacturing of embryos solely for research purposes.
This brings us to the debate placed before the Legislature by LB 700. By enacting LB 700, the Legislature would establish a clear ethical boundary that rejects the manufacturing of human embryos through cloning solely to be destroyed for research. By failing to enact LB 700, the Legislature would give a green light to this violation of human dignity and human rights. We strongly urge the Legislature to say no to human cloning by saying yes to LB 700.
Nebraska Right to Life -- Vital Signs Ministries -- Nebraskans United for Life -- Dwight Sandoz, District Superintendent of the Assemblies of God -- Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities -- Lincoln Area Lutherans for Life -- Russ Sommerfeld, President of the Nebraska District of the Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod -- Family First -- Nebraska Family Council -- More to be added