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The newest front in the battle for life


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Massachusetts is facing a new threat that will further tear at the fabric of our society, even if those effects are not immediately evident. The fate of embryos — either donated to science for experimentation or created by cloning — to be destroyed may appear at first glance to be of little significance compared with other seemingly greater tragedies.

However, our society is built upon certain pillars. For several decades, persistent attacks on those pillars — including family and respect of human life — have served to weaken the Judeo-Christian foundations of our society.

Who would have ever imagined that the Massachusetts Legislature would be on the verge of formally endorsing the cloning of human beings?

Since the moment that sexual acts and human reproduction became two unrelated matters in contemporary culture because of the introduction of artificial contraception, society has descended a slippery slope with no clear end in sight. No-fault divorce, abortion, in-vitro fertilization and societal approval of homosexual behavior have all contributed to the erosion of those foundations. With those foundations weakened, society has become more vulnerable to other attacks, such as the one we are witnessing with the push to promote human cloning in Massachusetts law.

Perhaps most troubling, the bill that would do this, Senate Bill 25, is being promoted under the false pretense that it does not involve human cloning. As we noted in our editorial last week, that assertion is outrageous. The new statement signed by the Massachusetts bishops published in this week’s edition echoes that point and expresses hope “that the general public and our public officials are not fooled by such false claims.”

Embryonic stem-cell research and the related cloning of embryos is not only immoral but completely unnecessary. As the bishops said in their statement, “Adult stem cells can be obtained from a person’s own bone marrow, blood supply and other organs of the body without harming the donor.” In fact, stem cells from these sources are already being used to cure disease. That is the stem-cell research we need to encourage. The only one that really helps people.

The common good of our society requires that we make our views known to our representatives. We encourage everyone to read the bishops’ statement, and particularly to heed their call to “register your concerns about destructive research on human embryos by contacting Governor Romney and your state legislators as soon as possible. Call on them to support legislation that bans all forms of human cloning and any research that destroys human life. Ask them to oppose legislation that endorses or funds these unethical acts.”

Opposing cloning and the killing of embryos is the latest battle in the pro-life war. As a nation living with the consequences of Roe vs. Wade, we should all understand how one government action can have monstrous, unseen consequences. However, unlike what happened with Roe, this time we have a chance to influence the process before it is over.

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