On February 27, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban all human cloning, imposing a $1 million fine and up to ten years in prison for those who pursue it.
This courageous 241 – 155 vote sent a message to the whole world that the United States is taking a stand against this infamous proposal. The measure now heads to the Senate where Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) sponsor Senate Bill 245. This issue presents America, and particularly its government, with a choice of paths
In the President’s words, we must decide either to “pursue medical research with a clear sense of moral purpose,” or “travel without an ethical compass into a world we could live to regret.”
It is not without cause that the Holy See “supports a world-wide and comprehensive ban on human cloning, no matter what techniques are used and what aims are pursued.”1 All human cloning is morally wrong. It can never be purely “therapeutic.” Cloning – even when euphemistically labeled “therapeutic” or “research” – is always reproductive since it always generates a developing human being.
Some proponents of human cloning hint menacingly that unless America legalizes it, we will be “out of step” with the rest of the world and “left behind.” However, it would be shameful and an abdication of leadership to turn our back on what we know is morally right to spare ourselves the sacrifices inherent to paddling upstream. Furthermore, rather than follow trends we should set them, and we should set them correctly.
We are no longer talking about authentic medical progress where nature is observed, understood and perfected. Backed by a biotech industry that has already patented and redesigned some animal species, this is a new frontier that could seek to change the very nature and form of human life itself.
Cloning, therefore, is a first and tragic step towards a technologically advanced nightmare in which the rights of God, the sole Master of life and death, would be further weakened, exacerbating the post-Roe-v-Wade confusion that has undermined our nation’s morality for the past thirty years. Our elected representatives would do well to keep this in mind when they vote on this bipartisan bill.
The Senate must pronounce itself on this grave issue while America grapples with imminent war in Iraq and the ever-increasing North Korean threat, both of which promise to develop in a manner that no one can foresee.
Now more than ever, America stands in need of divine assistance.
The Senate’s decision to ban all forms of human cloning would be an important step toward obtaining this help from Providence.
This is so because a government speaks for the nation. It represents the nation not only in the eyes of the world and history, but also in the eyes of God. A government’s decision binds the country, for better or worse, and has consequences for all of us. God rewards and punishes nations in this life, for the good or evil they do. His infinite justice requires this, for nations as such do not pass into eternity.
Although, defeatists may argue that banning human cloning now is “too little, too late,” that is false reasoning. It is never too late to do what is morally right. Our answer should not be to throw in the towel, but to fortify and expand our good principles all the more. In doing so, we may even receive special graces to correct our ways and make up for our shortcomings.
It is imperative that the Senate ban all human cloning now, and thus help secure God’s blessings on America.