Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich.

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, December 27, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Should human cloning be banned in this country as President Bush has just asked? Our next guest says yes. Joining us now is Republican Congressman Vernon Ehlers of Michigan. He been one of the most vocal opponents of human cloning on Capitol Hill. He is also a scientist.

Sir, have we just come so far so fast and how is it that this is actually legal in the United States?

REP. VERNON EHLERS, R-MICH.: Well, as the previous guest mentioned, it is already legal to have an abortion, which clearly is in the same league as killing the embryos that arise from a failed clone.

BUTTNER: Well, I don't even really want to get into that debate, sir, I just want to ask you, I mean, cloning is legal.

EHLERS: Cloning is legal. But the point is I introduced a bill years ago to try to clarify this, make clear that we are not allowed to clone humans in the United States of America. I also recognize full well even if we had gotten it passed then, which we didn't, that it wouldn't stop what's going on with Clonaid. They simply go offshore.

And I think what Clonaid is doing is certainly unethical. At its very best, these are just a group of misguided people, at its worst these are con artists preying on individuals who are not able to have children and desperately want to have a clone so that they have someone who is genetically related to them.

BUTTNER: With little concern for the child itself, that is what really seems to be missing in this whole debate.

EHLERS: Yes, absolutely, I agree. I spoke to Ian Wilmut some time ago, shortly after the cloning of Dolly.

BUTTNER: And he was creator of Dolly, yes.

EHLERS: That's right. And he and I both agreed that the psychological aspects would be devastating to a child. You know, can you imagine a teenager looking at his or her parents saying, good grief, that is what I'm going to be? Look what they think of their parents now. It would be worse. But there are a lot of other psychological problems. But the real issue, I think, is the ethical one, whether this appropriate, what these folks have at Clonaid have done I'm sure that is not a true clone. And I will not believe it is until they let an independent person come in, someone who is not hired by them, to do the DNA tests, and see whether the DNA of the mother and baby is identical. That is only way to determine it for sure. If they claim they are doing it. I want an outside independent expert to come in and do it.


EHLERS: And if that happens, then I will believe it. But I don't believe it.

The real problem with cloning, of course, is that a lot of embryos are going to turn out wrong. And if they go to birth, they will be birth defects galore, just an immense range of problems. It would be totally inappropriate, I think, to try to clone anyone at any time. But, particularly, at this stage, when we know so little about it and there are bound to be a lot of failures, immense number birth defects, problem children if they do survive the birth. It is just boggles the mind that anyone would think they have the knowledge to do that at this point.

BUTTNER: All right. Sir, excuse me. I'm so sorry, I have to interrupt you, sir. We actually do need to go to commercial. I really appreciate your being with us however, this is the debate that will not end here, that for sure. Thank you.

EHLERS: Thank you.

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