German Parliament Calls for Total Cloning Ban

NEW YORK, FEB. 21, 2003 ( The German Parliament overwhelmingly voted for the government to support a comprehensive U.N. ban on human cloning.

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This is a direct challenge to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who is leading efforts at the United Nations to allow for human experimental cloning, said the Friday Fax of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute.

Almost all members of the major German political parties, the Christian Democrats, the Greens, and Schröder’s own Social Democrats, voted in favor of the declaration today.

Although the declaration is legally nonbinding, its near-unanimous approval, as well as intense media coverage, should make it impossible for Schröder to disregard, the Friday Fax said.

The sixth committee of the UN General Assembly has debated human cloning since 2001, when the German and French governments introduced the issue. The Franco-German proposal calls for a partial ban on cloning, one that would allow human clones to be destroyed in medical research.

It remains unclear how Germany will alter its position when cloning talks resume at U.N. headquarters in September.

Maria Böhmer, a leader of the Christian Democrats, expects the Germans and the French to abandon their previous position and to embrace the U.S. position against cloning, the Friday Fax said.

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