Cloning: A Step In The Right Direction

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate January 2002

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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.