Human Cloning Policies

Reproductive Cloning

Many countries have passed legislation banning human reproductive cloning, including Australia, Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.

Approximately 46 countries have formally banned human cloning. While encouraging, this represents less than a quarter of all countries.

International organizations have also been working towards prohibitions on reproductive cloning. For example, in 1998 the Council of Europe issued an amendment to its Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. The Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings prohibits "any intervention seeking to create a human being genetically identical to another human being, whether living or dead."

Advocates of human reproductive cloning hope to make it happen before a global ban is in place, in the expectation that opposition will weaken in the face of a fait accompli. Estimates as to when a human clone might be born, if no action is taken to prevent it, range from immediately to five or ten years.

Research Cloning

Some countries, notably France, Germany, and Canada, explicitly ban the creation of clonal embryos. These countries have done so without infringing upon reproductive rights or jeopardizing a woman's right to an abortion. Many feminists, political progressives, and supporters of social justice in those countries support these bans on cloning.

In January 2001 the United Kingdom authorized the creation of clonal embryos for medical research. Sweden, China and Israel have also declared that they are not opposed to the creation of clonal embryos for research. There is pressure in the United States, Germany and elsewhere from the biomedical and biotechnology community to allow this as well.