X-Message-Number: 21559
From: "Reason" <>
Subject: RE: TTA Press Release on Bill C-13 (Canada)
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 05:32:09 -0700

Don't think this made it to this list. Of general interest: more attempts to
ban promising theraputic cloning research.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto:]On Behalf Of Michael Roy Ames
Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: [wta-talk] TTA Press Release on Bill C-13 (Canada)

Reason (and WTA),

The analog is identical.  If Canadians want thier voices to be heard,
they can contact thier Member of Parilment.  They can do this by regular
mail, email or telephone.  The contact information can be found online
(in English) at:


More attention is paid to constituents that provide thier contact
information - that is home address & telephone number.  The rational for
this is to avoid multiply counting the opinion of a constituent who
repeatedly contacts an MP about a single topic.  There are no rules
preventing someone contacting MPs from other constituencies, but the MP
aren't required to pay attention.  Most do, however, so contacting
multiple MPs can pay off.

I have worked inside the Canadian Government in enough places to know
that the vast majoity of MPs pay close attention to verified contacts by
constituents.  They don't pay much attention to protestors on the

Canadians!  Please go and lobby for what you believe in - hopefully an
extropian decision - it is neither expensive, nor time consuming to do
so.  It is, however, effective.

Michael Roy Ames

Reason wrote:
Quite aside from the reproductive cloning, looks like they're on
their way to banning theraputic cloning just as hard as the US house
wants to (something I've been predicting):


Question for the Canadians on the list: do you have a way of
contacting your representatives analagous to www.congress.org for the
US? If so, where is it?


-----Original Message-----
From: George Dvorsky [mailto:]
Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2003 2:20 PM
To: ; ;
Subject: [wta-talk] TTA Press Release on Bill C-13 (Canada)

Parental Choice, Research Impinged by Bill C-13

Members of parliament must amend Bill C-13 so that it doesn't
remove valid reproductive options for Canadians or inhibit
important medical

Proposed Bill C-13 is slated for debate in the House of Commons
this week,
and many Canadians are concerned that it will be voted into law.

The bill, titled "An Act respecting assisted human reproductive
and related research," calls for bans on therapeutic and reproductive
cloning, germ-line modifications, gender selection of offspring, the
creation of chimeras and animal-human hybrids for reproduction,
surrogate mothers and the sale of human reproductive materials or

Already the target of much criticism, the bill's potential
prohibitions have
infuriated many individuals and groups, including infertile couples
and those people, such as Parkinson's victims, who stand a good
chance of reaping the benefits of research into therapeutic cloning.

Under the act, Canadians would be forbidden to pay for sperm, eggs or
surrogacy. Health Minister Anne McLellan maintains that these types
of reproductive contributions should be limited to acts of altruism.

"How many friends do most of us have who would, out of the
goodness of their
heart, go through two weeks of injections, nine months of pregnancy
and childbirth so that we could have a child?" asks  Simon Smith,
president of
the Toronto Transhumanist Association. "In their reactionary attempt
to prevent the commodification of human reproduction, the Liberals
are ignoring
the realities that Canadian couples face. People without
extraordinarily altruistic friends will be doomed to a childless

Bill C-13 isn't just unfair to the one in six Canadians who suffer
from infertility, says Smith, but also to people suffering from such
health conditions as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and paralysis.
"Therapeutic cloning
has the potential to produce stem cells that could treat or even
cure many
currently incurable conditions," says Smith. "If Bill C-13
passes, research
on therapeutic cloning won't stop, it will just move to more amenable
countries. In essence, Canada will be waving goodbye to a
significant part
of its biotech future."

George Dvorsky, Vice President of the Toronto Transhumanist
Association, is
concerned that under Bill C-13 Canadians will be denied what he
considers to
be ethical and viable reproductive options. He is an advocate of
surrogacy and gender selection, and believes that consenting adults
in a free society should be entitled to use these types of
life-giving services.
"People should be wary of any attempt by the Canadian government
to control
the reproductive processes of their bodies," he says. "Canadians
couples should be allowed to select something as basic as the gender
of their own offspring. People already try to select the gender of
their children using
all sorts of primitive and ineffective means. Why should new
means be made
illegal simply because they're more effective?"

Dvorsky also worries that by making commercial surrogacy illegal,
couples will seek such services in the United States, or enter into
shady and unmonitored underground activities.

"The proposed act claims to 'respect' assisted reproductive
technologies and
research, and instead fails to 'respect' those Canadians who could
really use those technologies and services," says Dvorsky. "This is
another example
of the government prying their way into the bedrooms of the nation
and telling us which procreative options are appropriate for us and
which are not."
About the Toronto Transhumanist Association
The Toronto Transhumanist Association (TTA) is a chapter of the World
Transhumanist Association, a global organization founded in 1997
to support
discussion, research and public awareness of Transhumanist
thinking. There
are currently more than 50 formed or forming chapters of the World
Transhumanist Association around the world.

Transhumanism is concerned with ethically expanding technological
opportunities for all people to live longer and healthier lives,
to enhance
their intellectual, physical and emotional capacities, and to
enjoy a future
of freedom and prosperity.

If you're interested in learning more, please visit our Website at
http://toronto.transhumanism.com or email 

Simon Smith: 

George Dvorsky: 

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