- The Washington Times - Friday, May 13, 2005

It may have been providential it was not long before Mother’s Day that the congressionally chartered National Academy of Sciences announced it had developed a set of commandments to govern cloning human embryos and that the greatest was that all clones be killed by their 14th day.

To succeed in their quest for medical therapies based on cloning and killing human embryos, researchers must annihilate motherhood — for clones at least. They must create human beings who not only lack mothers but who are always denied the love and nurturing good mothers give their children.

It is true these researchers need women as “donors.” But instead of conceiving and bearing children in their wombs, these “donors” will be given drugs that cause them, like so many chickens on a poultry farm, to exude eggs for the convenience of research harvesters.

The researchers will take the human eggs, strip them of the donor’s DNA and fertilize them with DNA from another person. Thus, a cloned human is denied a biological mother.

By insisting — as they begin this research at least — all clones be killed by the 14th day, the researchers will ensure all clones are denied adoptive mothers, too. America’s most elite laboratories will be populated with the first fully motherless members of the human race.

Aspiring clone-to-kill researchers cannot have it any other way — at least for now. The last thing they need before Americans are thoroughly conditioned to accept their research is for someone to cherish a cloned embryo as if it were their own child. If therapies based on mass destruction of human embryos are to become a routine (and highly profitable) medical practice, as researchers hope, clones must constitute a unique subclass of humans no one ever personally loves, and that researchers may always treat as mere property.

What the NAS’ “ethics” rules envision is a high-tech form of human bondage. Under this regime, the well-functioning cloning laboratory will be a little slave state, teeming with captive humans, easily reproduced and controlled until they are killed to benefit someone else.

If researchers with no respect for the sanctity of life are allowed to get away with this, we cannot expect their degradations to stop with mass cloning tomorrow.

In only three decades, we descended from abortion on demand, to partial-birth abortion on demand to court-ordered death-by-starvation for a disabled person.

Most Americans may be unable to imagine what could ensue after we commence industrialized cloning and killing of human embryos, but the experts at NAS can. Accordingly, they have made their key “ethics” rules temporary. They are carefully qualified with the phrase “at this time.”

“[I]t continues to be the view of the National Academies,” they say, “that research aimed at the reproductive cloning of a human being should not be conducted at this time.”

Both the rule that all cloned embryos must be killed by 14 days and that researchers should not breed animals altered with cells from human embryos are meant to apply only “at this time.”

Then there are those intriguing possibilities with monkeys and apes. “A second possible hazard is that the human embryonic stem cells might generate all or most of an animal’s brain, leading to the possibility of a human mind imprisoned in an animal’s body,” the New York Times dryly reports.

“Though neuroscientists consider this unlikely, it cannot be ruled out, particularly with animals closely related to people, like monkeys and apes. The academy advises that human embryonic stem cells not be injected into the embryos of nonhuman primates for the time being,” the Times reported.

But there is always tomorrow.

If parenthood generally, and motherhood especially, are schoolrooms of human charity where people learn to put someone else’s interests above one’s own, mass-marketed medical treatments based on creating and killing motherless human embryos will be a schoolroom for just the opposite. It will teach us to treat each other worse than we treat animals — unless, of course, we make ourselves into animals first.

Terence P. Jeffrey is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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