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Abortion Vs. Cloning Essay, Research Paper

The United States Government restricts us from doing many things that

would cause problems or disrupt the common peace of our country. As time

goes on there are many new technological advances that come about from

people searching to expand man s common knowledge or make our lives or jobs

easier for us. Two of these advances in science have been the ability to abort a

fetus from the womb and also to clone forms of life. Why does the law allow

people more freedom to destroy fetuses than to create them?

Naturally, as with most any other debatable topics, the US government

has decided what rights we have as humans in these two areas. Abortion has

been a topic of great debate for many years now. There are many questions

that arise when the idea of aborting a fetus from the womb embryo is brought up.

Is the fetus alive? Is it actually a human after the time of fertilization? Does it

have rights? Should we treat it as we do any other human being? These are all

questions that, if answered, can have many different responses. Who really is to

say that the fetus is not alive? Can you remember when you were in your

mother s womb? Well maybe you weren t alive yet, since you can t remember it.

But then again, what if you were?

The government had to make a decision on how to restrict the act of aborting

a fetus. In the early 1900 s abortion was illegal nationwide. In 1962 the

incidence of babies born deformed as a result of the drug thalidomide taken by

their mothers during pregnancy, and an outbreak of rubella, or three-day

measles, which also can cause birth defects, prompts officials to reexamine laws

banning abortion. In 1970 Hawaii became the first state to repeal a criminal

abortion law. In 1973 the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade legalizes

abortion under the constitutional right to privacy, and overturns the Texas

abortion law, first enacted in 1857. The ruling gives women across the country

an absolute right to an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy. The

Supreme Court rejects the Reagan administration’s attempt to overturn the Roe

vs. Wade decision. (1998, CNN, Roe vs. Wade) The federal law says that the

state may not regulate abortion at all during the first trimester; the state may

regulate abortion during the second three months, but only for the protection of

the woman’s health; the state may regulate or ban abortion during the third

trimester to protect fetal life. (www.findlaw.org) This is how the government

stands on the legality of abortion in the United States.

Cloning is a concept that is fairly new to us. Cloning is the method of

producing an offspring with the same genes as a parent. This idea was

introduced to us in February 1997, when embryologist Ian Wilmut in Scotland

was able to clone a lamb, known to us as Dolly. This created many new

questions. Would humans be next? What advantages would there be if we

could clone humans? Is it ethical to create life that way? Ever since Dolly,

cloning has been a topic of discussion among government bodies, not only in the

US, but around the world. Our government is set up to protect human life.

Michigan was the first state to place a ban on cloning. Michigan s government

stated that it prohibited the creation of creation of human life for scientific

research. It is now illegal in the US to clone human life. (www.findlaw.com)

There are people that say cloning should be done. There are possible

benefits of creating another life this way. Let s say you aren t able to have

children with your spouse for some reason or another. When the technology

comes around should you have the right to create a clone of yourself. Sure you

could adopt, but it s different having a child that is from your own bloodline.

There is also the possibility of cloning single organs. Transplants could be done

to help people live their lives more normally. There are also possible concerns

with cloning. It took the scientists who created Dolly, 277 tries before they got a

healthy lamb. Human cloning is much more complicated so one can only

assume there will be many failures and most likely deaths trying to get it right.

The law realizes this and states that for now attempts to clone are illegal.

In the same way abortion has always had many ethical issues. Is the

fetus you re aborting already a human life? Or just the materials that will make

one? What if the mother would die when she has the baby? Should she have

the right to have the fetus aborted? This could possibly save her life. But would

it kill another life? These are all questions that arise when abortion is looked at.

The law does allow us more freedom to destroy fetuses through abortion

than it allows creation of them through cloning. Abortion has been practiced for

many, many years. Cloning has been done for less than a decade. The law

gives us much more freedom for abortion because we know much more about it

and its effects. We know very little about cloning and we know only a few of the

effects of this process. We know that Dolly s mother was six years old when

she was cloned, which might explain Dolly s cells are showing signs of aging

older than they actually are. This deviation raises the question that beings

created by cloning adults will age abnormally fast. Scientist, Ian Wilmut, the

same scientist who cloned Dolly, also cloned another sheep (born before

Christmas, 2000) that was clearly not normal. The abnormality did not improve.

The animal was killed because scientists realized the animal would never be

healthy. (February 19, 2001 TIME)

Wilmut has come out against human cloning. He believes that it is almost a

certainty that cloned human children would b born with similar abnormalities as

that of the sheep which had to be put to sleep. His original intent of cloning in

the first place was to try to help farmers produce genetically improved sheep not

so infertile couples could create themselves or so we, as humans, could grow or

clone organs. What we know about human cloning at this point is supposedly a

guess. You can be sure there are scientists studying this very topic or perhaps

actually working on a cloned human somewhere underground. What a

predicament our government and the governments around the world would face

with abnormally cloned, mature babies being created. What if someone wanted

to clone Hitler? We have limited knowledge about cloning and cannot

appreciate the full effects it would have on society, because we haven t actually

cloned anyone yet.

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