Stem Cells

Moral Arguments

The battle to stop human cloning will be a most important opportunity to turn the tide against the culture of death. Here are some talking points to help you discuss the topic of cloning with elected officials and fellow citizens.

Cloning will destroy the unity of marriage and parenthood.

Divorce, extramarital sex, contraception, and in vitro fertilization all disrupt the unity of marriage and parenthood. Cloning is yet another blow to the unity which should exist in Christian marriage.

Cloning turns people into commodities.

Cloning subjects a human person to being treated as a thing. Cloning a child is an expensive technological project, prone to “quality control.” Treating persons as things has become commonplace in our society, but the practice is always destructive and immoral.

Cloning is an assault on human life.

The first argument against human cloning is straightforward and widely shared: It is dangerous. The report of the one successfully cloned sheep in Scotland was preceded by 276 failures. Cloned human embryos have already been killed in research laboratories. In addition, genetic screening will be used with cloned human embryos and any embryo who does not pass will be killed.

Cloning assaults the dignity of human procreation.

Human procreation involves a man and a woman coming together as one, open to new life—the fruit of their union. Assisted reproductive technologies are, without a doubt, affronts to human dignity. And cloning leaves no trace of the dignity of human procreation, as it is completely artificial reproductive technology.

Cloning assaults the dignity of the conjugal union.

Normally, a child is the living expression of the parents’ mutual love. To be sure, there are children whose parents do not love each other, as there are married couples who love each other and do not have children. Still, the existence of children is a persistent sign of parents’ mutual love. The potent and universal sign of God’s gift of life is lost when the child’s life begins in a laboratory.

Cloning is unprecedented human arrogance.

If making people in your laboratory isn’t “playing God,” the phrase has no meaning.

Recommended reading:

Donum Vitae, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1987.

Recommended action:

There are several federal and state initiatives described as human cloning bans. However, one must be very careful to determine what is an authentic ban because some initiatives will still allow cloning for research, which is another way of saying “clone and kill.”