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Cloning: A Step In The Right Direction

1432 words - 6 pages

Xerox copies. When many people think of the word "cloning", that is what the picture - a Xerox copy of a human, with the exact same appearance and all the knowledge of the "parent". In 1997, this science-fiction technique became a reality with Ian Wilmut's creation of Dolly, the first mammalian clone. Already there is considerable debate over the concept of human clones, when the procedure is far from being perfected enough to even think of attempting it on humans. An infertile couple; a teenager in need of a liver transplant; a baby girl born with a deformed hand; a man who know he is at high risk for a variety of diseases, and doesn't want to endanger the child he wishes to have; all of these would benefit from cloning. Why is anyone even thinking about banning this medically useful technique? Cloning is a constitutional right, it is not a Xerox copier, and it can be used to help humankind.First of all, cloning is a constitutional right. The Constitution includes the right to privacy, and the Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that right to privacy applies to reproductive freedom. In the case of Eisenstadt vs. Baird, the Supreme Court said, "if the right to privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child." This means that any person in the United States, legally, has the right to do whatever they want involving reproduction, whether this involves simply not having a child, or abortion, or even cloning. Some might argue that this applies only to sexual reproduction, but the case law on the subject says the opposite. In 1990, Illinois tried to outlaw some reproductive technologies and tests, some of which could be used to treat infertility. A federal court denied that law, saying, "it takes no great leap of logic to see that within the cluster of constitutionally protected choices that includes the right to have access to contraceptives, there must be included within that cluster the right to submit to a medical procedure that may bring about, rather than prevent, pregnancy." This means that, whether through sexual reproduction or some technological means, Americans have every right to have or not have a child as they choose, to utilize or not utilize technology for that purpose.Secondly, cloning is not a perfect copy, as many people seem to fear. Children conceived with the aid cloning technology would almost be genetic twins of the cell donor. But think about this; there are already 1.5 million genetic twins in America. They are commonly called identical twins, but they are simply naturally occurring clones. Physically, they have different fingerprints and different brain structures, among many other examples. Intellectually, they have different IQ's. A recent analysis of 212 studies of twins showed that genes are only responsible for 48% of a person's IQ. Of...

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