New human embryo research bill would allow destructive research

Members of the Legislative Assembly should oppose the ACT Government’s plans to allow destructive embryo research to occur in Canberra, president of the ACT Right to Life Association, Mary Joseph said today.

The Government today introduced the Human Cloning and Embryo Research Bill into the ACT Legislative Assembly.

“This legislation crosses a line in saying that some human beings can be destroyed for research,” Ms Joseph said.

“Allowing destructive research on human embryos includes allowing embryos to be used to test drugs, to be used for toxicology studies or to be used to train clinicians.

“Human embryos would also be destroyed for their stem cells. But it should be remembered that scientists have not found a way to use human embryonic stem cells to find cures for medical conditions, while adult stem cells have been used many times to cure patients.

“The bill includes the associated but very different issues of a ban on human cloning and allowing destructive embryo experimentation. But while most people oppose human cloning, only some people support destroying embryos in experiments.

“It will put those MLAs who oppose destructive human embryo experimentation in the difficult position of, by voting to oppose embryo experimentation, also having to oppose a ban on human cloning. These two issues were split in debate in the Australian Parliament to allow politicians the opportunity to vote on each issue according to their conscience.”

Issued:    27 November 2003
Contact:  Mary Joseph, president of the ACT Right to Life Association Inc,
telephone 02 6253 3100.

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