Australia’s Senate narrowly approved a bill Tuesday legalizing the cloning of embryos for destructive research. It still has to pass their House of Representatives before it becomes law, but it is fully expected to pass. The law would require that the cloned embryos be destroyed within 14 days of creation, and forbids inserting them into a woman’s womb for gestation.

What I find interesting is that it was only four years ago that Australia passed legislation allowing the use of “leftover embryos” for embryonic stem cell research. Our legislature passed a similar law this year (but it was vetoed by President Bush). During the debate we were assured that all Congress wanted was the ability to use leftover embryos, not clone embryos. I wouldn’t doubt that Australia said the same thing, but the fact of the matter is that biotechnology, when unchecked by morality, is a slippery slope. We have already seen biotech slide down the slope in Australia and other countries. In fact, we’re even seeing it in America. California, Missouri, and New Jersey have all passed laws allowing the cloning of embryos for destructive research. Don’t believe them when they say “we’ll only do X, not Y,” for tomorrow they will be wanting to do Y. Yesterday they didn’t want to clone embryos for research, today they do. Today they are saying they don’t want to gestate clones to birth, but already some scientists are saying that wouldn’t be so bad after all. As it’s been said, what was unthinkable yesterday is thinkable today, and commonplace tomorrow.