Cloning bill still to be won, says Catholic Health

As the Senate moves towards a vote on a controversial law that would legalise cloning research, Catholic Health chief, Francis Sullivan, says that the conscience vote looks close but that "it is still there to be won".

"I still think there's some energy in it," Mr Sullivan told The Australian. "We still feel it is there to be won."

However, supporters of the bill are quietly confident the law, to be debated by the Senate from today, will be passed in a tight vote, the paper says.

A survey of senators conducted by The Australian last week showed there were 26 in favour of the Patterson bill, 22 against and 23 undecided. But observers expect at least 10 of the undecided to support the bill enabling it to pass and move to the House of Representatives.

Sydney Cardinal George Pell also launched another warning to the Federal Government against overturning the ban on so-called "therapeutic cloning", the ABC adds.

Cardinal George Pell says any support of the Lockhart Committee's recommendations for changes in stem cell research would push Australia down a slippery slope of legalising embryos with multiple genetic parents, as well as human-animal crosses.


Cloning bill supporters expect close win (The Australian, 6/11/06)

Pell issues warning against therapeutic cloning (ABC News, 5/11/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Senate
Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006 (Australian Senate)

Pell slams "pro-cloners" (CathNews, 2/11/06)
No cloning cures for Catholics, says Bishop Fisher (CathNews, 23/10/06)
Bishops step up campaign against cloning (CathNews, 20/10/06)
Proponents of therapeutic cloning should cool it: Pell (CathNews, 25/8/06)
Catholic groups reject claims of stem cells breakthrough (CathNews, 24/8/06)
Poll shows Australians against cloning, Campion Director says (CathNews, 22/8/06)
Abbott lashes "evangelical" stem cell scientists (CathNews, 21/8/06)
Catholic parliamentarians in firing line again over stem cells (CathNews, 16/8/06)
Catholic union official compares therapeutic cloning to Nazi experiments (CathNews, 4/8/06)
Premiers face stem cell backlash as Hart criticises debate (CathNews, 24/7/06)
Catholics divided over stem cells (CathNews, 14/7/06)

6 Nov 2006