Doctor to Attempt First Cloned Human Baby

"Dangerous Process," Says Pro-life Group

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LONDON, AUG. 6, 2001 (Zenit.org).- An Italian embryologist is set to announce plans to use 200 women volunteers in an attempt to create the world´s first cloned human baby, the Sunday Times reported.



Severino Antinori, whose clinic in Rome enabled a 62-year-old woman to have a baby, will announce his plan Thursday at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., the London newspaper reported. The plan calls for the November launching of his cloning program.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a broad ban on human cloning, including for research purposes.

Antinori has disclosed that 200 women were selected worldwide and will be treated for free. Most of them cannot have children because their husbands are sterile.

The specialist acknowledged that, given the international hostility against human cloning, he might be forced to work in a foreign country or on a ship in international waters.

On Sunday, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said that Antinori´s plan was a result of the promotion of cloning for therapeutic purposes by British scientists and politicians.

Paul Tully, SPUC general secretary, said: "As experience with animals has shown, cloning is a notoriously dangerous process. Developmental abnormalities are commonplace and many embryos are lost during the process. In the case of human cloning, these will be real people who are discarded as part of this sinister manipulation of the otherwise natural reproductive process."