By Scott Tibbs, November 29, 2001
In her November 29th column on stem cell research, Amy Orringer's misses the point of why pro-life Americans oppose stem cell research and cloning. Whether cloning is for reproductive purposes or "research" purposes is irrelevant to why it should be banned.
First of all, Orringer makes a patently false statement that stem cells can only be harvested form embryos. The fact is that potentially very useful stem cells can be harvested from an umbilical cord after birth, or even from adults.
Why are the practices of cloning and stem cell research wrong? Life begins at fertilization, when a new life, complete with a new DNA code and all the building blocks needed to grow and develop, is formed. This is true whether the life is created in a laboratory or a mother's womb. An embryo, cloned or not, is a developing human being, just as we are all developing human beings. That human being should have the right to bodily integrity, and should not be killed or experimented on by a scientist doing "research".
One would think that with the experiments on black men in this country and other gross violations of human rights globally over the last several decades, we would have learned our lesson that we should not be experimenting on other human beings. Sadly, we have not.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in the summer banning cloning and President Bush has promised to sign it, but the Democratically controlled Senate has failed to act. Pro-life Congressmen like John Hostettler and Mike Pence have called on the Senate to act. Pro-life Hoosiers should write Senators Lugar and Bayh and encourage them to support this ban.