11. April 2005 · Comments Off on Senator Brownback’s Attack On Cloning · Categories: Politics, Science!

Marc Strassman has a very good article on Sam Brownback’s bill to ban all human cloning, both reproductive and therapeutic:

On March 17, 2005, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) introduced the “Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2005,” (S. 658) which would definitively prohibit human cloning (also referred to in this legislation as “somatic cell nuclear transfer”) within the United States, whether such cloning was intended for reproductive or research purposes.

Indeed, Senator Brownback believes that there is no meaningful distinction between “reproductive” human cloning and human cloning for “research” purposes. In a press release issued by his office to accompany the introduction of S. 658 on March 17, 2005, Senator Brownback said:

“All human cloning is reproductive. What we must decide as a society is what do we do with the young, cloned human? We have yet to collectively answer the ethical questions involved with implanting that clone or destroying it for research.”

In another, more recent press release, Senator Brownback declared his equally strong opposition to any effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to reconsider the current ban on “federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research,” saying:

“If legislation to expand taxpayer funding of destructive human embryonic stem cell research comes before the Senate in the coming weeks or months, I will use all legislative options available to defeat it.

“I oppose destructive embryonic stem cell research because it results in the untimely termination of a young human life. To expand taxpayer funding of human embryo-destructive research is wrong, and it cruelly plays on the hopes and fears of those suffering from illness and disease. We should shift taxpayer funds to non-destructive, ethically-sound research that is resulting in real treatments and real cures for real people.”

The failure of the so-called “Right To Life” crowd to differentiate between therapeutic and reproductive cloning is truly disturbing. For more background, check out this round-up at Reason Magazine.

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