.- Cardinal George Pell has urged MPs to oppose controversial legislation that would allow the creation of cloned embryos for stem-cell research. Informing Australians about some specifics of the bill, he explained that it would allow scientists to clone embryos with ova harvested from aborted girls.
The bill is expected to go to a free vote in Australia’s Parliament by Thursday. It will be introduced to Parliament by West Australian Liberal MP Mal Washer, a medical doctor who has become a passionate advocate for stem-cell research.
“While these human embryos are tiny, they will be used for parts, for stem cells, before their destruction by the 14th day,” said the cardinal in column published in the Sunday Telegraph. “If the House of Representatives repeats the mistake narrowly made in the Senate, we shall be pushed further and faster down a slippery slope.”
The bill passed in the Senate two weeks ago by two votes, reported The Age.
“Four years ago when Federal Parliament allowed experiments on ‘excess’ human embryos surplus to IVF processes, cloning was forbidden as illegal and those who then claimed we were on a slippery slope were ridiculed as alarmists,” said the cardinal-archbishop of Sydney.
“Ignorance and confusion abound on these matters, but principles of long-term importance are being broken and new movable standards are being erected temporarily to be further ‘improved’ in the years ahead,” he cautioned.
The cardinal said few Australians would know that “the bill proposes to legalize the manufacture of cloned embryos with only one genetic parent; hybrid embryos with multiple genetic parents, and embryos whose mother is an aborted girl fetus.”
“Scientists propose to use the immature eggs (precursor cells) from aborted baby girls to create human embryos for experimentation and destruction,” he explained.
Since embryonic stem-cell research has not produced any of the cures if promised, there is no justification for the further expenditure of government money on the research, he argued.