Spain’s parliament has passed a new Law on Biomedical Research making the country the fourth in Europe and the ninth in the world to allow “therapeutic” cloning of human beings.
Although the law prohibits “reproductive cloning” or the creation of new embryos for experimentation, it inconsistently “permits the production of cloned embryos in order to obtain research material from them.”
Last October, the Executive Committee of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference pointed out the contradiction in the measure, and after the approval of the law last weekend, it reissued the statement it made previously.
Diverse medical and family organizations have quickly expressed their rejection of the new law. The president of the Spanish Forum for the Family, Benigno Blanco, called the new law an “ethical step backwards that must be absolutely rejected” because it turns the human embryo into “mere material” for research.
“I think it is a very negative law because Spain is going to be one of the only countries in the world where the life of a human being, in its phases of development, will be the least protected,” he said.
Likewise, the scientific director of VidaCord and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Monica Lopez Barahona, criticized the law for allowing “therapeutic cloning” that consists in the transfer of a nucleus from an ovum, “as if what were generated were not a zygote and therefore an embryo.” “We are talking about a human being,” she said.
In addition to Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Sweden, Japan, Australia, Israel, South Korea and Singapore also have passed laws permitting “therapeutic cloning.”