A predecessor to the President’s Council, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC), recommended, in Cloning Human Beings,50 the continuation of a moratorium on federal funding for reproductive purposes with a call for voluntary compliance from the private sector. It further recommended the enactment of legislation with a three- to five-year sunset clause banning cloning for reproductive purposes. However, it made clear that all measures taken should “be carefully written so as not to interfere with other important areas of scientific research.” 51
Various other organizations, individuals, and councils have issued opinions and reports on cloning as well. Some, such as The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)52 oppose human cloning for any purpose: “The cloning procedure is so dehumanizing that some scientists want to treat the resulting human beings as subhuman, creating them solelyso theycan destroythem for their cells and tissues.” Others, such as a group of forty Nobel Laureates,54 former First Lady Nancy Reagan,55 and former President Gerald Ford,56 would allow regulated cloning for therapeutic purposes, but disallow it for reproductive ones. Still others, such as such as Dr. Severino Antinori, and Clonaid,57 favor cloning for reproductive purposes, and even claim to have created human clones via SCNT.58 53
The human cloning debate centers around number of different ethical and pragmatic issues. Exploration of these issues reveals variation in ethical and moral
National Bioethics Advisory Commission, Cloning Human Beings, June 1997. Ibid., p. iv.
52 The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is “is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States,” at [http://www.nccbuscc.org/ whoweare.htm].
53 Bishop Gregory, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, quoted in “Bishops’ President Says Cloning Turns Human Reproduction into a Manufacturing Process, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Communications, Nov. 27, 2001, at [http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2001/01-205.shtml].
54 The American Society for Cell Biology statement by the 40 Nobel Laureates is available at [http://www.ascb.org/publicpolicy/Nobelletter.html].
55 Complete text of a letter from Mrs. Reagan to Senator Orrin Hatch specifying her position on cloning can be found at [http://hatch.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases. Detail&PressRelease_id=674].
56 L. Hafner, “Revised Feinstein/Kennedy Cloning Bill Has Criminal and Civil Penalties, Requires Research Review,” Washington Fax, May 2, 2002.
57 “CLONAID™ ,the first human cloning company in the world, was founded in Feb. 1997, by RAËL and a group of investors who created the Valiant Venture Ltd Corporation based in the Bahamas.” The organization was founded by the leader of the Raelian Movement, “the world’s largest UFO-related organization.” “A Historical Background,” Clonaid, at [http://www.clonaid.com/content.php?content], accessed July 1, 2004.
58 See, for example, “Alive and Well,” Clonaid, at [http://www.clonaid.com/news.php], visited July 1, 2004; Abu Dhabi, “Human Cloning Project Claims Progress,” Gulf News Online Edition, Apr. 3, 2002, at [http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=46275].