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Resolution On Genetic Technology And Cloning

WHEREAS, We have entered the age of genetic diagnosis, manipulation, and therapy; and

WHEREAS, One’s genetic code is unique to each individual member of our species; and

WHEREAS, Our unique genetic code is part of the nature of our embodiment as human beings made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27); and

WHEREAS, God’s revelation makes it clear that there are important distinctions between animals and human beings (Gen. 9:1﷓6); and

WHEREAS, Genetic technology holds both the wonderful potential for the treatment of disease as well as the hideous potential of increasing the numbers of abortions through the use of prenatal genetic screening, the creation of human embryos for the purpose of experimental research, the cloning of whole human beings, and discrimination against individuals based upon their genetic information; and

WHEREAS, In February 1997, Dr. Ian Wilmut and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, announced the first successful cloning of a mammalian species; and

WHEREAS, The National Bioethics Advisory Commission of the United States has been charged with the task of reviewing the ethical and legal implications of cloning technology; and

WHEREAS, A number of states, including New Jersey, have passed legislation prohibiting the use of genetic information by employers, labor organizations, employment agencies, and health insurance agencies to discriminate against persons because of their personal genetic information; and

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists are on record for their consistent and vigorous opposition to the devaluation of human life and the encroachment of the culture of death;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Dallas, Texas, on June 17﷓19, 1997, hereby recognize the importance of genetic research which has as its goal the treatment or cure of genetic illnesses and debilitating genetic conditions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we voice our emphatic opposition to the use of prenatal genetic testing for the purpose of abortion decisions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we call on Congress to enact federal legislation against providing human embryos for the purpose of experimentation, whether by tax﷓funded or privately﷓funded researchers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we urge Congress to pass a legal ban on cloning human beings in the United States and work toward international policy to make cloning human beings illegal around the world; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we solicit lawmakers to pass federal legislation protecting genetic privacy and prohibiting the use of information gathered through genetic testing to stigmatize and discriminate against individuals on the basis of their genetic information.