By Gudrun Schultz

WARSAW, Poland, July 24, 2006 ( – The Polish parliament has issued a resolution against research using human embryos, in response to the European Union’s recent vote to provide funding for embryonic stem cell research.

  Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, issued the resolution, which passed with a strong majority of 341 votes in favour and only 47 against. 20 votes were withheld.

  The resolution stated: “Sejm of the Republic of Poland points out that those reprehensible practices (human embryo experimentation) are inconsistent with Polish law. [The destruction] of human embryos purposefully to receive stem cells is against the Polish Constitution, Chapter II, article 38, which states ‘The Republic of Poland shall ensure the legal protection of the life of every human being.’”

  The resolution goes on to state that human embryo experimentation would violate article 157 of Poland’s Penal Code, which enacts protection of human life from the moment of conception. Further, it would be inadmissible under the Medical Ethic Code.

  Polish pro-life advocate Bogna Bialecka told there is widespread confusion among the Polish public over the meaning of the term “embryonic stem cell research.”

“Most of the liberal media information focuses on potential remedy outcomes of the research. Few people realize that the research is possible only as a result of destruction of human life,” said Bialecka. “One of the commentaries was: ‘What’s the fuss about some stupid tissue?’”

  Despite Poland’s reputation as a solidly Catholic nation with strong pro-life policies, said Bialecka, the country still needs more effective pro-life education.

“The average citizen is really confused and misinformed about the issues, such as embryonic stem cell research, gay rights, etc.”

  Poland’s Catholic bishops issued a statement June 25 condemning the EU decision to fund human embryonic research.

“Research into embryonic cells is carried out at the expense of human embryos who from their very beginning, that is from the moment of conception, have the right to that unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being,” the statement said, reported Zenit News Agency.

“The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights contains a provision that says: ‘Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected’ (art. 1). Such dignity is due to every human being from conception to natural death. Treating a human embryo as an object of experiments and, [sic] thus its instrumentalization is a flagrant violation of this dignity.”

“We call on all people of good will, on the Council and on the European Commission,” the bishops concluded, “to take all measures in order not to allow the implementation of the decision taken by the European Parliament on the financing of research on embryos and embryonic stem cells.”

  Read Zenit News Agency translation of the Polish bishops’ statement:

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  EU Approves Full Public Funding of Embryo Research

  Germany Hopes to Block Deadly Human Embryo Experimentation in the EU