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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 4, 1998

Bioethics and Medical Ethics

L. Collins
Pages 22-26

On Human Cloning
A Secular Feminist Perspective

How should we think about cloning as philosophers and feminists? Reproduction by cloning is not, in itself, morally inferior to human sexual reproduction. Moral criticism of cloning rests on condemnation of its "unnaturalness" or "impiety," but this kind of criticism should not persuade non-believers. I evaluate cloning in two phases. First, some hypothetical situations involving private choices about cloning are examined within a liberal framework. From this individualistic perspective, cloning appears no more morally problematic than sexual reproduction. A liberal feminist may welcome the possibility of human cloning as an expansion of the range of reproductive options open to women. The second phase argues for a shift in the framework of analysis in order to get a more complete evaluation of the ethical implications of human cloning, including questions of distributive justice and the ideology of reproduction.

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