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Campaigners welcome UN ban on cloning

 On Friday, the United Nations came out strongly in opposition to all forms of human cloning, with a vote of 71 to 35, with 45 abstaining. Member States have been urged to outlaw all such practices as being incompatible with human dignity'. No distinction is made between research or reproduction. Welcoming the news, Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) said: "We are overjoyed at this decision which breaks the three year deadlock created by the United Kingdom, Belgium and Singapore. These three countries have been lobbying relentlessly for the liberalisation of destructive research cloning, and it is superb news that the majority of UN countries have realised the absurd hypocrisy of such a position. If cloning is abhorrent in principle one cannot justify any form of compromise. "CORE is particularly pleased that major attention focused on the potential for exploitation of women, an issue raised in the first instance by Honduras. Colossal numbers of human eggs are required in the cloning process and these cannot be obtained without exposing women to unnecessary and harmful procedures. The first cloning licence issued in the UK (in Newcastle) stipulates 1000 human eggs per year as a basic requirement, and that is for one licence alone. It was rightly feared by UN delegates that women from poorer countries would be targeted for egg harvesting. This is already occurring in the European arena where wealthy IVF practitioners are offering financial incentives to egg donors from poorer member states. Women must be protected from such offensives. "This vote sends a clear message to the United Kingdom that yet again we are way out on a limb in relationship to world moral consensus. The legal challenge to be heard in the High Court in relationship to the Newcastle Cloning Licence will surely be positively affected by this welcome UN decision." Source: CORE