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Brazilian bishops deplore approval of law allowing research on embryos

.- The Bishops’ Conference of Brazil issued a statement yesterday deploring the approval of law that allows research with human embryos and underscoring its firm commitment to the defense of life from conception to natural death.

The Brazilian bishops’ response came in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that upheld the law which allows “the use of embryos created through in vitro fertilization and that have been frozen for more than three years in fertility clinics.”

The bishops noted the issue was “not one of a religious nature but rather of the promotion of human life,” and they underscored that life, which begins “at fertilization,” should be protected “in all circumstances.”

The embryo is “a human life,” as confirmed by “embryology and biology, and therefore the human embryo has the right to be protected by the State.”

“The fact that it is in vitro or in the mother’s womb does not diminish or increase this right.  It is sad that the Supreme Court has not confirmed this clear right and has allowed human embryos to be destroyed,” the bishops said. 

“Contrary to public opinion, embryonic stem cells are not the remedy for curing all illnesses. The more viable alternative for this scientific research is the use of adult stem cells, taken from the patients themselves, which have already benefited more than 20,000 people with different types of treatments for degenerative illnesses,” they explained.

“We reaffirm that the mere fact of being in the presence of a human being demands full respect for his integrity and dignity: any behavior that could constitute a threat or an offense to the fundamental rights of the human person, the first of which is the right to life, is considered gravely immoral,” the bishops stressed.

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