Communications Department

Alice in Cloneland — Hollywood group TV ad claims cloning is not cloning

Apr 24, 2002 | 2002 Press Releases

This is a press release from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), issued Wednesday, April 24, 2002, at 1:15 p.m. For further information, send email to

A Hollywood-based group called “CuresNow” today released a TV ad in opposition to the Brownback-Landrieu bill (the bill that would ban the cloning of human embryos). The ad includes this exchange between “Harry” and “Louise”:

“Harry” asks, “Is it cloning?,” to which “Louise” responds, “Nooo — uses an unfertilized egg and a skin cell.”

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) commented, “Louise’s answer is a brazen deception, and these Hollywood manipulators know it. Panels of scientific experts at the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere have agreed that the procedure that the Brownback bill would ban for humans [somatic cell nuclear transfer] is indeed ‘cloning’ and will indeed produce a ‘human embryo.’ ”

A sampling of those authorities — including citations from an article by leading U.S. cloning researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association — are collected on the NRLC website at or may be obtained by sending a request to

Johnson noted that the magazine “New Scientist” published in an editorial in its Feb. 23, 2002 issue, deploring such “shifty” tactics, and concluding, “Here at New Scientist we will continue to call a clone a clone.”

Moreover, press releases, background papers, and ads released today by the “Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research” (CAMR), also opposing the Brownback-Landrieu bill, repeatedly and explicitly refer to “somatic cell nuclear transfer” as “therapeutic cloning.” Example: “SCNT, also known as therapeutic cloning . . .” While the term “therapeutic” is itself misleading in this context (“research cloning” is a more accurate and neutral term), at least CAMR admits that cloning is the issue. “CuresNow” is a member of CAMR, but CAMR’s own materials refute Louise’s misinformation.

Information on ads sponsored by groups that oppose the cloning of human embryos (and therefore support the Brownback-Landrieu bill) are available at and