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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

In recent years, society and medical technology have combined to yield numerous technologies with which a child may be born beyond traditional reproductive means. These procreative methods necessarily implicate various rights under the Constitution. The recent cloning of "Doily" the sheep and its potential implications for the cloning of human beings has thrust these issues into the forefront of society's collective mind. Despite constitutional concerns, these reproductive technologies remain legally permissible. The introduction of cloning, however, has been met with resistance far greater than that of the previous techniques.

This Note compares the similarities and differences, constitutionally speaking, between cloning and other assisted reproductive technologies. It will provide the basic scientific background regarding cloning and several assisted reproductive technologies. Also, it will discuss the various constitutional issues raised by the four major techniques of artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy contracts, and human cloning. At the same time, it will reflect upon the potential ethical harms and benefits of cloning. By comparing the constitutional ramifications of other assisted reproductive technologies with cloning as well as taking into account the ethical concerns cloning poses, this Note will suggest that human cloning is constitutionally permissible within certain legal parameters. Finally, this Note will propose a plausible legal framework within which cloning can be utilized in accordance with constitutional theory and societal values.

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