FACTBOX: Vatican lists objectionable reproductive procedures

Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:39am EST
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(Reuters) - The Vatican on Friday spelled out Roman Catholic moral teaching on a wide variety of scientific and medical procedures dealing with human reproduction.

Catholic teaching on bioethics is based on the principle of unconditional respect for human life from conception to natural death and for the transmission of such life through sexual intercourse by married couples only.

The document therefore condemned virtually all forms of artificial fertilization and genetic engineering and urged Catholics to oppose them in almost all cases.

The document declared the following procedures morally unacceptable: -- in vitro fertilization.

-- research in and use of embryonic stem cells.

-- post-fertilization birth control methods such as morning after pills, the so-called abortion pill RU-486 (mifepristone) and the inter-uterine device (IUD).

-- surrogate motherhood.

-- human cloning, both reproductive and therapeutic.

-- hybrid cloning using animal oocytes (immature female germ cells) to reprogram the nuclei of human somatic cells.   Continued...