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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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