LONDON, November 23, 2001 ( – The Human Reproductive Cloning Bill will be rushed through all its stages in the Lords on Monday and all its stages in the Commons on Thursday, according to the Daily Telegraph. The Bill will make it an offence to “place in a woman a human embryo which has been created otherwise than by fertilization”. The maximum penalty will be a 10-year jail sentence.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, wrote an article in the paper saying “this rushed legislation squanders” the opportunity given, by last week’s court ruling striking down the former law, to reconsider this whole issue. He lamented that the previous legislation allowed cloning but only forbade the cloned human being to be born. The Archbishop called cloning for research purposes a “dereliction of our ethical responsibilities.”“The Government’s proposed Bill does nothing to stop the creation of a human clone: it merely prohibits the transfer of the cloned human embryo to the body of a woman,” he said of the emergency legislation. “The Government is in favour of human cloning, provided the newly created cloned embryo is not permitted to survive.” He explained, “Cloning results in the creation of a human life – an embryo that, if implanted in the womb, would grow up to be a baby. It is a way of creating new human lives, totally and radically divorced from the human act of love.”“‘Therapeutic’ and ‘reproductive’ cloning are the same procedure: the only difference lies in how we plan to treat the clone,” he warned. “It is for this reason that the green light given to “therapeutic” cloning was welcomed by Dr Severino Antinori, since it will help him with his plans to create a cloned embryo, and bring it to term. If the Government is serious about wishing to ban human cloning – whether for research or for birth – then it must ban it altogether,” he said.

See the coverage and Cardinal’s column in the Telegraph: