United Nations Adopts Resolution Encouraging Human Cloning Ban

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 19, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

United Nations Adopts Resolution Encouraging Human Cloning Ban

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 19, 2005

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — The United Nations on Friday adopted a resolution asking all governments around the world to ban all forms of human cloning. The decision is a victory for pro-life countries who want a complete cloning ban and a defeat for nations that favor using human cloning to create human embryos to kill for their stem cells.

The international group’s legal committee voted 71 to 35 with 43 abstentions to adopt the non-binding proposal sponsored by Honduras and backed by the United States. The measure now goes to the full 191 nation assembly, which is expected to approve it.

Before adopting the measure, the committee rejected amendments sponsored by Belgium that would have weakened the declaration to have it endorse embryonic stem cell research and human cloning for that purpose.

Jeanne Head, a nurse and the longtime lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee said he group was pleased with the vote.

“We are pleased that U.N. delegates have finally acted to protect human life with today’s U.N. Declaration which urges banning all forms of human cloning,” Head stated.

The proposal was initially put forward by Italy, which called on member nations to "prohibit any attempts to create human life through cloning processes and any research intended to achieve that aim."

Then, Honduras submitted a lengthier resolution which also said countries should "prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life."

The Honduras measure also asks nations to approve language preventing the exploitation of women. Delegates from developing countries feared that women from poor countries would be targeted for the large number of women’s eggs that would be needed to support these “egg farms.”

The procedure by which eggs are extracted from these vulnerable women is extremely painful and dangerous to their lives and health.

Friday’s vote is the beginning of the end of years of debate on human cloning.

Two competing groups had offered a treaty requiring a full or partial ban on all forms of human cloning. The U.S. and Costa Rica led those countries wanting a complete cloning ban while Belgium, Japan and other European nations support keeping some human cloning legal.

“The Declaration is an important and significant step toward recognizing the dignity of all members of our human family and protecting all human life,” Head concluded. “We look to the U.S. Congress now to put an end to the cloning and killing of human embryos."