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The Politics of Women's Health

Emerging Biotechnologies: Cloning

Statement On Human Cloning

June 2001

The U.S. Congress is about to consider legislation on human cloning. The undersigned call on Congress to pass a strong, effective ban on using human cloning to create a human being. To allow the creation of human clones would open the door to treating humans like interchangeable manufactured objects and commodities. It would violate deeply and widely held values concerning human individuality and dignity. It would pave the way for unprecedented new forms of eugenics. And it serves no justifiable purpose.

Supporters of women's health and reproductive rights have particular reasons to oppose human cloning. There is no way that human cloning could be developed without unethical mass experimentation on women and children. Further, cloning advocates are seeking to appropriate the language of reproductive rights and freedom of choice to support their case. This is a travesty, and needs to be challenged. There is an immense difference between ending an unwanted pregnancy and creating a duplicate human. Most people readily understand this, and can support abortion rights while opposing human cloning.

Cloning to Create Human Embryos

We also call for a moratorium of five years on the use of cloning to create human embryos for research purposes. At the same time we support research that would help to determine whether stem cells have therapeutic effects. Adult stem cells, umbilical cord stem cells, and embryonic stem cells that have not been derived from embryos created for research can be used for these purposes. The creation of clonal human embryos, which would increase the difficulty of enforcing a ban on the production of genetic duplicate humans, is unnecessary for these investigations. This moratorium is prudent and reasonable policy when faced with a technology of such profound consequence.

More than thirty countries worldwide have already banned the creation of human clones and/or imposed constraints on the creation of clonal human embryos. Women's health and reproductive rights advocates call on the United States to do likewise. The future of our common humanity is at stake.


Signatories as of March 2002 (organizational endorsements in boldface):

United States citizens:

Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, and Sally Whelan, Program Manager, Our Bodies Ourselves

Amy Agigian, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Suffolk University (for identification purposes only)

Alison Amoroso, Executive Director, and Tori Costa, Publishing Associate, Teen Voices Magazine

Deborah Anderson, Director of the Fearing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School (for identification purposes only)

Lori Andrews, Professor, Chicago-Kent School of Law (for identification purposes only)

George Annas, Edward R. Utley Professor and Chair, Health Law Department, Boston University School of Public Health, and Professor, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Law (for identification purposes only)

Adrienne Asch, PhD, Henry R. Luce Professor in Biology, Ethics, and the Politics of Human Reproduction, Wellesley College (for identification purposes only)

Byllye Avery, Founder, National Black Women's Health Project (for identification purposes only)

Rosalyn Baxandall, Chair of American Studies, State University of New York at Old Westbury (for identification purposes only)

Susan E. Bell, PhD, A. Myrick Freeman Professor in Social Sciences, Bowdoin College (for identification purposes only)

Philip L. Bereano, Professor of Technology and Public Policy, University of Washington (for identification purposes only)

Rhajani Bhatia, Coordinator, Committee on Women, Population and the Environment

Barbara A. Brenner, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Action

Pamela D. Bridgewater, Associate Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law (for identification purposes only)

Charlotte Bunch, Executive Director, Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University (for identification purposes only)

Alexander M. Capron, University Professor of Law and Medicine, and Co-Director, Pacific

Center for Health Policy and Ethics, University of Southern California (for identification purposes only)

Lincoln Chen, Executive Vice-President for Strategy, Rockefeller Foundation (for identification purposes only)

Sanford Chodosh, MD, Boston University School of Medicine (for identification purposes only)

Nora Cody, Executive Director, DES Action USA

Peter Conrad, PhD., Harry Coplan Professor of Social Sciences, Brandeis University (for identification purposes only)

Irene W. Crowe, PhD. Pettus Crowe Foundation (for identification purposes only)

Ronnie Cummins, National Director, Organic Consumers Association

Alice J. Dan, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Research on Women and Gender, University of Illinois at Chicago (for identification purposes only)

Marcy Darnovsky, PhD, Program Director, Exploratory Initiative on the New Human Genetic Technologies

Kristin Dawkins, Vice President for International Programs, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Jo Ann Dawson, MD, Primary Care, University of California Los Angeles (for identification purposes only)

Giovanna Di Chiro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Allegheny College, PA (for identification purposes only)

Leilani Doty, PhD., University of Florida Memory Disorders Clinic (for identification purposes only)

Gunnar Dybwad, Professor Emeritus, Brandeis University (deceased)

Michael F. Epstein, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and President, MedEView, Inc. (both for identification purposes only)

Roslyn Feldberg, Massachusetts Nurses Association (for identification only)

Francis Fukuyama, Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University (for identification purposes only)

Adrienne Germain, President, International Women's Health Coalition

Leonard Glantz, Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Boston University School of Public Health (for identification purposes only)

Stephanie Golden, independent scholar and author

Nirvana Gonzalez, for Taller Salud, Puerto Rico

Lynn Gordon, Founding Director, GirlSource

Abigail Halperin MD, MPH, University of Washington Center for Health Education and Research (for identification purposes only)

Lisa Handwerker, PhD., MPH, Medical Anthropologist and Women's Health Advocate

Donna Haraway, Professor, History of Consciousness Department, University of California at Santa Cruz (for identification purposes only)

Debra Harry, MS, Executive Director, Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (for identification purposes only)

Betsy Hartmann, Director, Population and Development Program, Hampshire College

Martha R. Herbert, MD, PhD, Pediatric Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital (for identification purposes only)

Maureen Horowitz, Wichita Action Alert (for identification purposes only)

Ruth Hubbard, Professor Emerita Biology, Harvard University, and founding director, Council for Responsible Genetics

Mariannette Jaimes-Guerrero, Native American scholar, Associate Professor of Women's Studies, San Francisco State University (for identification purposes only)

Timothy R B Johnson MD, Bates Professor of the Diseases of Women and Children and

Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Women's Studies, Research Scientist, Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan (for identification purposes only)

Anne S. Kasper, PhD., First Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Women's Health Network

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