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Women's Health and Reproductive Rights Leaders Call for Cloning Ban

Genetic Crossroads
August 18th, 2001

In anticipation of the US Congressional vote on human cloning, Judy
Norsigian of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective and other
feminists circulated a letter calling for a ban on cloning among women's
health and reproductive rights leaders. The letter and its more than
100 signatories are posted at <www.ourbodiesourselves.org/clone3.htm>.

From the letter: "To allow the creation of human clones would open the
door to treating humans like interchangeable manufactured objects and
commodities. It would violate deeply and widely held values concerning
human individuality and dignity. It would pave the way for unprecedented
new forms of eugenics. And it serves no justifiable purpose.

"Supporters of women's health and reproductive rights have particular
reasons to oppose human cloning. There is no way that human cloning
could be developed without unethical mass experimentation on women and
children. Further, cloning advocates are seeking to appropriate the
language of reproductive rights and freedom of choice to support their
case. This is a travesty, and needs to be challenged. There is an
immense difference between ending an unwanted pregnancy and creating
a duplicate human. . .

"We also call for a moratorium of five years on the use of cloning to
create human embryos for research purposes. . ..The creation of clonal
human embryos, which would increase the difficulty of enforcing a ban
on the production of genetic duplicate humans, is unnecessary for [stem
cell] investigations. This moratorium is prudent and reasonable policy
when faced with a technology of such profound consequence."

To add your name and/or organization to the letter, or to discuss it,
please contact Judy Norsigian at <[email protected]> or Marcy Darnovsky
at Contact us.

The fact that human cloning is opposed by women's health advocates and
other pro-choice constituencies is just beginning to be noticed by the
media. One of the first stories on this broad opposition appeared in
the San Francisco Chronicle on August 9. See <www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/
article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/08/09/MN24275.DTL
>


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