Brazilian bishops request research with embryos be declared unconstitutional


The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil has announced it will ask the country’s Supreme Court to declare part of a new law that allows research with human embryos to be unconstitutional.

The president of the Bishops’ Committee on Life and the Family, Bishop Orlando Brandes, noted that embryonic stem cells are not necessary for research, as adult stem cells have been already proven to be an effective alternative.

“The embryo is a human being, an individual who has the right to be born and has all of the necessary elements, according to science, to be an adult.  It is a seed that is going to develop,” the bishop said.

The announcement by the NCBB comes as former Attorney General Claudio Fonteles filed his own brief challenging the law’s constitutionality and warning that the use of embryos “damages the inviolability of the right to life” guaranteed by the Brazilian constitution.

However, in a move to pressure the court, the Brazilian version of “Catholics for a Free Choice” commissioned a poll which alleges that 75% of Brazilians support research with human embryos.

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