Australian MPs to debate ban on therapeutic cloning

Church leaders are calling on NSW politicians not to support the overturning of a ban on therapeutic cloning.

A controversial bill to overturn the current ban on stem cell research, also known as Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, is due to be debated in the lower house of state parliament on Tuesday.

MPs from both sides of politics will be allowed a conscience vote on the legislation, which would allow therapeutic cloning but maintains the ban on human reproductive cloning.

If passed, the legislation would bring NSW in line with the Commonwealth, which overturned a ban on therapeutic cloning in December 2006.

But both the Anglican and Catholic churches are asking MPs to vote against the bill.

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell said all members of parliament should reject the cloning of human embryos for experimentation and destruction.

“No Catholic politician, indeed no Christian or person with respect for human life who has properly informed his conscience about the facts and ethics in this area should vote in favour of this immoral legislation,” he said in a statement.

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