Minnesota Catholic Conference: Say no to human cloning

The Minessota Catholic Conference opposes the plot of this movie.

The Minessota Catholic Conference opposes the plot of this movie.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference is taking a stand against human cloning. At the moment, it's not clear who's on the other side of this issue, but they still seem pretty fired up about it.

In a message to members, the MCC is telling Catholics to contact their legislators and demand that no public money is spent on human cloning, and that the legislature extend the ban on human cloning that was passed in 2009, but expires this year, meaning that every Minnesota can do all the cloning they want in 2012. 

But the MCC isn't referring to scientists creating an exact replica of, say, the pope, or a Jean Claude Van Damme character. In this case, "cloning" refers to stem cell treatments.


MCC's actual issue is something called "somatic stem cell transfer," in which cells from a transplant recipient are replicated to make it less likely the body will reject the transplant, according to the Minnesota Independent. This doesn't exactly sound like cloning, unless you think of yourself as nothing more than a few kidney cells.

The MCC wants to block the practice a the University of Minnesota, though the U has already said it doesn't even do somatic stem cell transfer.

That the issue at hand is stem cell research could easily be missed the entirety of the MCC's message to members does not include the words "stem cell research."

In the heated budget debates going on at the Capitol, a ban on the use of State funds for human cloning research is at risk. Pro-life lawmakers added a ban on the taxpayer funding of human cloning to the original Higher Education omnibus bill, but it was vetoed by Governor Dayton. It is now uncertain whether the funding ban will remain in place in the compromise budget bill being drafted right now.

The MCC site then has a form to fill in, to easily e-mail anti-cloning messages to Mark Dayton. It even gives tips on how to craft a successful note to lawmakers -- shorter is better! -- and offers a sample text to use.

A recent International Communications Research poll showed that 75% of Americans strongly oppose human cloning for any reason. And the United Nations has recommended its member nations ban the practice of human cloning. With this much opposition, I am asking you to again include a ban on human cloning funding in the Higher Education omnibus bill. Please, don't use my tax dollars on such a controversial issue; one that I believe is immoral!
Aside from the poorly used semicolon, this message isn't likely to convince Dayton or legislators to follow through.

One of Dayton's demands when he made the tentative deal with Republican leadership to end the shutdown was that the GOP wouldn't add policy attachments to budget bills. The demand was likely to block a social issues rider exactly like this one.