USCCB official condemns law permitting embryonic research and cloning

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced a new law, signed by New Jersey Governor James McGreevey Jan. 4, that legally sanctions research requiring the destruction of human embryos. The law also permits experimentation on cloned human babies throughout pregnancy.

“The New Jersey law is designed to encourage government-sanctioned ‘human fetus farms’,” said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, director of planning and information for the Pro-Life Secretariat of the USCCB.

“This is the most extreme, inhumane pro-cloning legislation in the country,” said Ruse. “It should be scorned by every American who believes in common decency and basic human rights for all.”

The law, supported by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, promotes somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning) and the development of human embryos up through late fetal stages, so they can be aborted for stem cells and tissues up to the time of birth.

The law only explicitly prohibits cloning "an individual" which the bill defines as, "the replication of a human individual by cultivating a cell with genetic material [the SCNT cloning process] through the egg, embryo, fetal and newborn stages into a new human individual."

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