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January 17, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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January 17, 1998
 

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TH NSASC CATHOLIC w January 17, 1998 Page 11 .es no reason nstag "uman cloning used to be thought .of as a plot in a science fiction acy movie. Then, when Dolly the sheep was cli cloned by a Scotland scientist last Feb- hat [ mary, more ethicists and scientists be- that: gan to discuss the real possibility of humans being cloned. The scientist, Ian give Wilmut, calmed our fears somewhat a pregnancy in a woman. The technique would require replacing the DNA in a human egg with the DNA of another person and implanting the fertilized embryo in a woman to develop. Researchers and scientists are attacking Seed's troubling proposal by looking at the scientific consequences. LeRoy Waiters of ing will affect Dolly over her lifetime, to take dine to study how this technology will affect human persons?" At this point, the negative effect on humans seems pretty great. It also is pretty likely as well that there is financial prof- itability in it for Seed and his backers. Bishop Ella Sgreccia of the Pontifical For Seed, it is to help infertile couples. Seed will easily be able in the United States --or somewhere around the world --to play on these couples' desperation and emotions and promise them a child. Infertility causes many couples to go to desperate lengths to become pregnant. when he said, "I wouldn't do anythingGeorgetown University's Institute of Eth- Academy for Life said cloning "represents In the future, animal cloning could Ehid to copy a person." ics said the long-term effects on genes and a dominion by man over man and includes provide some scientific breakthroughs. . Now, the threat is growing even more chromosomes have to be remedied first, a kind of desire to replace God s plan in But infertility is never a reason to try to since Richard Seed, a Chicago scientist, The National Bioethics Advisory Commis- an arbitrary ,and complete way, creating clone a human. Medical procedures and in ~ says he is working with a team of dec- sign recommends that human cloning be man in man s image and likeness." medicine have improved over the years a-e ~ tars to help clone human embryos and banned because of the risk of mutations. From the Catholic perspective, we must to assist infertile couples. Adoption en, l implant them into the wombs of four An associate professor of ethics at The look at the benefits and disadvantages to should be infertile couples first thought nfal;rtile women. Within a year and a Catholic University asked, "Why is he human cloning. We must look at why the -- not playing God in a test tube or petri cerS a~alf, Seed said his goal is to "produce" (Seed) not willing to wait to see how clan- human cloning is being performed, dish in a laboratory. nd,r a- - _ mentable decision in 1973 forever changed rights, obligations de~ ILI~E~T ( 1 or for no reason at all, and without as- ! health, any woman is entitled to an abor- serting or claiming any threat to life or tion at her request .... The court for the most part sustains this position." He went on, "The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 states are constitutionally disentifled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a mate adjudication. The court, according to such a view, has in this instance made new law, a function quite beyond its appointed competence. It has laid novel restrictions, both on legislatures and on the citizenry of the states, restrictions which have no foundation in the Constitution. And the whole line of reasoning set out in Justice Blackmun's decision in pur- ported justification of the decision , h The United States Supreme Court is spectrum of possible impacts on the seems tenuous and tortured in terms mother, on the other hand. of precedents. statemterpsingefforts to aorotectCOnstitutionalhuman life."barrierIt This pre-emption by the courtJustice We doubt that the struggle over the als "investing'mothers and doctors White stigmatizes as "an improvident and legalization of abortion has come to an )) tm me constitutionally protected right extravagant exercise of the power ofju- end. We doubt, too, that the Supreme dicial review which the Constitution ex- Court has seen the last of a question exterminate" human life o ~t# ,!-,_. ~ tends to this court; I find no constitu- which it may suppose it has settled. More comment on the court's strikin "~own g ~ tional warrant for imposing such an or- will be discovered about the being in the p&- ante-abortion laws was made not der of priorities on the people and leg- womb, and this will lead to demands for _oy a spokesman for Right to Life, but by Norma McCorvey was known as islatures of the states." reconsideration of rights and obligations. -mtef the court's own. members,. Iustice "Jane Roe" in the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Others, not necessarily favoring restric- The constitutional issue will be further .,. He, along w thJusuce Rehnqmst, ?a S;ented from the majority's opinion decision, tions on abortions, have echoed this criti- debated. And the eventual social conse- cism. They see in the court s decision an quences of this lamentable decision will uounced last week. which the court has precipitately opened act of legislation, and not one of legiti- appall all responsible Americans. laaJ fin opinion was written by the i orfl,---""'"afte " JusticeWay" Blackmun s' opinion is curious r delivering it, he took to throughout. For example, it insists that the court's decision does not mean that r I :n;er ad t make speeches" In the Afte tt ~v . ues, he adverted to the abortion abortion on demand is now the rule. This disclaimer is at odds with the very text in effiit "wa " already haunting r oe t might, which it appears. ". : Roe vs. Wade argued that the effects of denying women e said that the period in which the In effect, the court has made abor- COurt had the matter under consider- access to abortion would include family stress, the stigma : ation was one of the most difficult m. his tion on demand the rule except during of unwed motherhood and mental or psychologtcal judicial experience He also complained the final 10 weeks of pregnancy. During ': the - -- " those weeks, "the fetus ... presumably has to tthe court did not have sufficient time the capability of meaningful life outside distress. Since the 1973 ruling the following increases have been reported. ; explore the question, the mother's womb." ~i Wl~y the hurry? The court should have Therefore, the court will allow the ckJtaken more time, all the time it needed several states to regulate abortions ito Study so involved and momentous a when a fetus is within 10 weeks of birth, X kelisubject. Shortly after the decision was if, as the court so nicely puts it, the ~announced, there appeared an estimate states are "interested in protecting re- d, that the court's ruling would result in tal life after viability." As for the court ~]more than a million abortions in the itself, it expresses no such interest. To 7,a~Curse of a year The nation righdy it, evidendy, the matter is one of indif- mourns the loss of some 50,000 Ameri- ference. t ~can lives in the Vietnam War. The num- Justice White observed, "the common ~Tber is small indeed alongside that to claim before us is that for any ... reason, figures are most recent available. Abortion rate is number of I al abortions per !,000 woman. Sexual activity refers to women who have had intercourse at least once. Source: National Cen~ for Health Statistics, Cenler for Disease Co~.ol 1997 CNS Graphics