Comments from CWA’s
Senior Policy Director, Wendy Wright
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Washington, D.C. Concerned Women for America (CWA) applauded the 84-34 vote in the United Nations General Assembly today which approved a Declaration to ban all forms of human cloning. The measure sets an international standard for U.N. member nations to adopt urgent legislation outlawing all human cloning practices “as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.” The Declaration, introduced by Honduras, also calls on countries to “prevent the exploitation of women,” in part because cloning requires harvesting eggs from women.
“This Declaration sets an international standard that places human dignity and life as a priority. Even scientists should be bound by ethics,” said Wendy Wright, CWA’s senior policy director.
The decision ends three years of deadlock caused by countries seeking approval for cloning research. “Belgium, the United Kingdom, Singapore and other countries that hope to profit from cloning humans refused to agree to ban all forms of cloning,” said Wright. “But these pro-cloning countries lost support as other countries became aware it would violate the human rights of cloned embryos, who would be created and destroyed for the sake of science, and of women whose eggs would be harvested to do the research, for which pro-cloners showed no concern. Also, ethical adult stem cells are already doing what cloning only promises by providing near-miraculous treatments for patients with a variety of illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, heart failure, cancer and blindness.”
At the insistence of delegates from developing countries who feared their women could be turned into “egg farms,” the Declaration calls on member nations to introduce measures to prevent the exploitation of women. Delegates expressed concern that poor women would be targeted to extract the vast numbers of eggs that would be needed, inevitably inflicting painful, dangerous and invasive procedures on vulnerable women.
Included is a proposal calling for wealthier nations to direct attention and funding to pressing medical issues such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It also condemns all applications of any genetic engineering techniques that threaten human dignity.