Supporters of a ban on human cloning have newfound support from the United Nations.

In March, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a declaration calling on member states "to prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life." It also urges countries to "adopt all measures necessary to protect adequately human life in the application of life sciences," including passing related legislation, and "to prohibit the application of genetic engineering techniques that may be contrary to human dignity."

While not legally binding, the declaration "sends a strong message to the world" that the destruction of human embryos for scientific experimentation cannot be tolerated, said Jeanne Head, U.N. representative for the National Right to Life Committee.

The declaration was sponsored by Honduras and adopted 84-34.

Countries voting against the ban said there is no consensus that "therapeutic cloning"—when human embryos are cloned for medical research—should be prohibited. Cloning critics disagree.

"We're redefining humanity," Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., told CT. "Will humans be the next lab rats?" On March 17, Brownback and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., introduced the bipartisan Human Cloning Prohibition Act.

While the House has passed two bills banning human cloning for medical research, the Senate has not done so. Like previous anti-cloning bills Brownback has introduced, this latest measure would ban all forms of human cloning.

A spokesman for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the senator would soon be re-introducing a competing measure with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. It would allow for therapeutic cloning while continuing the ban on reproductive cloning—where ...

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