Medicine & Science

Human cloning: The horror is just beginning

Times had become tough for Tom.  His wife Helen was no more than a shell of the woman he had loved through 39 years of marriage, and it had happened so quickly. Like a thief in the night, the Alzheimer’s disease crept in and dulled her motor skills to the point that she needed to be spoon-fed. Her once bright mind could have whipped off the name of any president at any stage of history. Now she could not even remember her own childrens’ names.  Pneumonia had developed several times as she, unable to remember how to properly chew, aspirated food into her lungs.

Tom sought every medical expert to help his wife and sympathetic doctors at the Alzheimer’s research institute assured him there was hope.  “Tom, we can help your wife with new research.  We need young cells—the kind you might find in a developing baby and we can grow new brain cells for her, young as the day you married her!  But don’t worry, we don’t have to actually take them from a baby.  We can create them through new technology using just an unfertilized egg and your wife’s own DNA—that’s all it takes.

Tom and Helen’s names are fictional, but their story is very real and it typifies the false hope fabricated by advocates of human cloning who are preying upon people with debilitating diseases in order to garner their support.  You don’t have to be a scientist to grasp what the following sections will teach you.  You need only to understand that those who support human cloning do not want you to understand it at all. False terms, fake science and outright lies are utilized to disguise the horrific truth about what these researchers really want to do: methodically produce and kill.

MYTH 1: There is big difference between “therapeutic” and “reproductive” cloning.

FACT:  In reality, there is not one bit of difference between therapeutic and reproductive cloning.  What marks the distinction between the two is what you do with the newly produced embryo.  If the embryo is implanted in a womb and brought to full term, this is called “reproductive.”  If the embryo is destroyed for his or her stem cells or organs, this is called “therapeutic.” But in both cases a new human being is first produced.

MYTH 2: Therapeutic cloning does not involve a real embryo— only an unfertilized egg and a bunch of cells.

FACT: This was the lie perpetrated on Tom—one that many supporters of cloning and stem cell research try to assert, including paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve.  But the simple truth is that all cloning utilizes real embryos!  Cloning, just like natural reproduction (or in vitro fertilization) begins with an unfertilized egg. But unlike natural or IVF reproduction, DNA is used as the catalyst to begin the growth of a human being, rather than sperm.  In normal reproduction, we know that the egg is fertilized by human sperm.  In cloning, the donor egg is first manipulated to remove its nucleus—the core of the egg, containing most of the DNA.  The egg is now ready to be “fertilized” using the nuclear DNA of the person to be cloned.  This DNA can be obtained from any somatic or germ/sex cell, the two types of cells in the human body that contain 46 chromosomes.

This donor DNA is then inserted and, using either electrical or chemical stimulation, the embryonic growth process begins and will advance through the exact same stages of development we would find in any embryo fertilized by natural reproduction. And as pointed out in Myth 1, this embryo can be implanted into the womb to produce a child or developed to the desired embryonic or fetal stage in order to harvest the stem cells or organs, which immediately destroys this new human being.

MYTH 3:  Therapeutic cloning involves a different science than reproductive cloning called “somatic cell nuclear transfer.”

FACT: Somatic cell nuclear transfer is only one of many ways to clone a human being. It was the exact method used to produce Dolly the sheep.  As explained above, the cloning process of using the nucleus of a somatic cell in the donor egg is called somatic cell nuclear transfer.  And the process of using the nucleus of a germ or sex cell is called germ cell line nuclear transfer.  But these are only two of several methods that may be used to produce a new human being who can then be utilized for either reproductive or therapeutic purposes. The distinction between these two methods is important to understand because it seriously affects pending legislation. (See Myth 7)

MYTH 4: Only reproductive cloning produces a human being because a human embryo does not begin to exist before implantation in the womb.

FACT: Ah, location, location, location!  Since when does it matter where the new embryo is produced?  Thousands of babies have been born using in vitro fertilization, who were most certainly produced outside the womb, yet political pundits would like you to believe they are really not “embryos” at all—only  “pre-embryos,” or “non-persons.” These words are used so often in scientific circles and the pro-abortion world that most people believe these are valid scientific terms for early embryos. If the public can be convinced that they are not really embryos until they are implanted, scientists can legitimately experiment on them, clone them, kill them, patent them and use them as mere commodities for huge profits.  Implantation simply allows these already existing human beings to grow bigger and to be harvested for their organs or brought to full term.

Thousands of babies have been born using in vitro fertilization, who were most certainly produced outside the womb, yet political pundits would like you to believe they are really not embryos at all.

MYTH 5: Laws that would allow therapeutic cloning would prevent cloned human beings from being implanted in the womb and would thus prevent them from ever being born.

FACT: Quite the contrary!  Once an embryo is produced in the lab, it is inevitable that implantation will be attempted.  What will the government do then?  Force abortion? In fact, laws allowing therapeutic cloning in some states have been written so liberally, they would actually allow implantation in the womb as long as the baby is not brought to full term.  Such laws would have to legally require abortions in order to prevent the child’s birth. These new abortion laws would also conveniently allow the development of infants to whatever desired stage of gestation—including the ninth month, in order to harvest specific organs or tissues.

MYTH 6: Therapeutic cloning can help treat major diseases and save lives.

FACT: So called “therapeutic cloning” is nothing more than a way to bypass President Bush’s decision governing limited federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.  Therapeutic cloning allows for the mass production of embryos who will be cloned and killed solely for their stem cells, tissues or organs. Yet to date, not one single cure has been developed using embryonic stem cells for any of the diseases it is purported to cure.  However, real human applications are already underway to treat heart conditions, stroke, blood disorders, breast cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and a host of other degenerative diseases using adult stem cells—not embryonic cells.

MYTH 7: The current pro-life bills pending in state and federal legislatures such as SB 245 (Brownback) and HR 234 (Weldon) will ban all cloning.

FACT: There is not one bill in the House, Senate, or at the state level that will ban all cloning of human beings, because there are several types of human cloning that are not included in the bills.  In reviewing the laws’ wording, only somatic cell nuclear transfer is addressed.  Even within that scope, since the scientific definitions of cloning and somatic cells are incorrect, the bills could be rendered completely ineffective.

Think of it as a series of state and federal bills that are supposed to ban all abortions, but because they specifically list only a certain method such as dilation and extraction, doctors would be free to abort babies using other techniques.  Taking it one step further, suppose the bills misstated exactly what dilation and extraction really was from a medical standpoint?  We would then have bills that in effect, would ban absolutely no abortions whatsoever.

We’ve already been down this road before when Roe v. Wade falsely asserted that we did not really know when a human being begins to exist.  Without stricter wording and amendments to the current bills, they will utterly fail to protect the preborn.  Thirty years after Roe we are certainly much wiser about DNA, but it seems we have remained morally stagnant or even worse, regressed.

Human cloning is without question the ultimate disgrace to God as the Holy Creator and Author of all human life. When mankind takes it upon itself to assume this authority, to manipulate and custom design human beings, most assuredly, we are taking the ultimate step of declaring ourselves a race with no need for God.

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About the author

Debi Vinnedge

Debi Vinnedge is executive director of Children of God for Life (an American Life League Associate group) and recipient of the Catholic Medical Association’s 2014 Evangelium Vitae Award for her work to end the manufacture and use of vaccines derived from aborted babies.