Media Release: Friday, 15 September, 2006

Jim Wallace, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, has welcomed Senator Natasha Stott Despoja’s admission that implementing the recommendations of the Lockhart Review would involve permitting human cloning.

The Senator stated that, “the gist of the exposure draft bill that I tabled tonight was to encapsulate all the Lockhart recommendations so that the parliament could decide and determine which were important and appropriate scientific recommendations...I did not want to cherry pick those recommendations because I want the parliament to decide what to adopt, reject, amend, debate—and even what to clone, as the case may be.”

In responding to the proposals, Mr Wallace said, “At last the Senator has admitted that debate on the Lockhart Review is a debate on human cloning. Allowing so-called ‘therapeutic’ cloning would require overturning the 2002 ban on human cloning. The Senator also proposes amending the definition of human embryos, no doubt trying to find a more convenient definition which skims over the fact that this is human life with potential.”

“There is no such thing as ‘therapeutic’ cloning. There is just cloning. The process of creating the cloned embryo is exactly the same, whether it is subsequently destroyed to harvest its stem cells or whether it is allowed to develop through gestation and birth.

Lockhart makes this very clear and others should not attempt to confuse the issue.”

Contact: Jim Wallace