Maggie Gallagher
At a press conference in Washington last week, National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson laid out what is at stake in what he calls "the most significant pro-life issue to face Congress during the immediate future": whether "human embryo farms will be permitted to start up in the United States."

But human cloning is not just a pro-life issue, either. Judy Norsigian, the self-described radical feminist co-author of "Our Bodies, Ourselves," is one of many liberals arm-in-arm these days with people such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Richard Doerflinger. "I had a little joke with them," Ms. Norsigian told a reporter. "I said, 'You know, this may be the only issue on the face of the Earth we ever agree on.'"

Last spring, the United Methodist Church, a pro-choice mainline protestant denomination, voted to oppose cloning because, as Assistant General Secretary Jaydee Hanson testified to Congress last spring, "the prevalent principle in research that what can be done should be done is insufficient rationale and should not be the prevalent principle guiding the development of new technologies."

The debate has intensified since a Massachusetts biotech firm announced it had cloned several human embryos who died in the earliest stages of life. Last summer, by a whopping 103-vote margin, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban human cloning. By equally whopping margins, the American people solidly agree. When asked last June, "Should scientists be allowed to use human cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical research?" 86 percent of Americans polled by International Communications Research said no.

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.