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