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Statement of Fr. Peter West at National Pro-life Religious Council Press Conference on Human Cloning

May 7, 2002

I am Father Peter West of Priests For Life. Approximately 40,000 priests throughout the United States receive our newsletter. Over 100,000 people all together receive our newsletter.

Priests For Life joins with our fellow Christians in support of the Brownback-Landrieu Bill S-1899 that bans human cloning of any kind.

Once life is special-ordered rather than conceived human beings are treated more as products to be manufactured than persons with rights. People are not laboratory mice to be experimented on, nor are they pear trees to be fertilized, grown, planted, pruned, inspected, tested and sold.

Human cloning is another terrible assault on the sanctity of life ethic on which this nation was founded. We reject the idea that we are imposing our morality on anyone by promoting the sanctity of life. The sanctity of life is no more a sectarian doctrine than is the Declaration of Independence a sectarian document. In a pluralistic society we have a right and a duty to defend this principle by every ethical and legal means at our disposal.

Those who hold to the sanctity of life ethic believe that every human being is of value and incalculable worth. Race, sex, ethnicity, social status, health disability age, beauty or mental ability or stage of development do not matter. Though we are all different we are of equal value in the eyes of God. This is the cornerstone of Western civilization on which the concept of universal human rights is based.

To support human cloning is to stand in opposition to this dream of equality and is an exercise in eugenics. All human beings must be treated with dignity and respect from the first moment of their lives. It is wrong to produce a human being for the use of others.

Those who propose human cloning dream of a world where infertile couples can have children and genetic abnormalities and disabilities can be eliminated. While these are noble goals, the ends do not justify the means. The cost of human cloning is too high. The cost is a loss of the realization that every human life is sacred and that each of us have an inherent dignity based on the fact that we are human beings. The consequences of human cloning may be worse than we imagine.

Human cloning of any kind cheapens human life. Priests For Life considers it our duty to educate the public on the duties of responsible citizenship. We will ask people to especially take into account the vote on S-1899 when they exercise their right and duty to right and duty to vote in November.

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org