Canada Law Against Human Cloning Unconstitutional Quebec Court Rules
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by Steven Ertelt
June 19, 2008
Montreal, Canada (LifeNews.com) — A Canadian law that prohibits human cloning for reproductive purposes but allows scientists to clone human embryos to kill for their stem cells is unconstitutional. That’s the view of the Quebec Court of Appeal, which issued a ruling Thursday saying the federal government overstepped its authority.
During the debate on the legislation, pro-life advocates applauded the reproductive cloning ban but said allowing scientists to clone and kill human beings for research was immoral and unethical.
The measure also bans the buying and selling of human embryos and puts forth guidelines on in-vitro fertilization and the licensing of research.
However, the Quebec court issued a 53-page ruling saying the provisions in the bill are unconstitutional because they encroach on provincial jurisdictions.
The court said human cloning should be considered a health matter regulated by the individual provinces rather than a criminal matter subject to federal law.
The Quebec provincial government had brought the lawsuit and made the claim that the Canadian Parliament wrongly put forth law that should be left to its provincial government.
The Senate approved the law in March 2004 after a long wait following passage of the legislation by the House of Commons on a 149-109 vote.
The bill had been presented numerous times over the last 10 years in different forms and Liberal MP Paul Szabo was able to lead a group of legislators to oppose it each time.
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