Delaware Committee Postpones Vote on Dangerous Human Cloning Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 30, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Delaware Committee Postpones Vote on Dangerous Human Cloning Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 30, 2004

Dover, DE ( — The Delaware House Health and Human Development Committee on Wednesday postponed for the second week in a row consideration of a bill that would allow the cloning of human embryos to be killed for use in scientific research. The bill has attracted strong opposition from pro-life groups who support adult stem cell research but say human lives shouldn’t be taken to advance science.

Rep. Melanie George (D) on Wednesday made a motion to release the bill from the committee, but the motion was rejected.

The committee is not scheduled to consider the bill until after the General Assembly reconvenes in March.

Critics of the measure say the Delaware bill tracks closely with New Jersey legislation recently signed into law that allows cloned human beings to be implanted in a mother’s womb and allowed to grow for the entire nine months of pregnancy.

After that point, the New Jersey law requires the unborn children to be killed because the legislation specifically prohibits the birth of a human clone.

The Delaware legislation passed in the state Senate in June 2003, but has been stalled in the House after pro-life advocates realized the dangerous provisions of the bill and it began to receive national attention.

Although the bill backers claim that it bans human cloning, it actually permits unlimited cloning of human beings through a process known as somatic cell nuclear transfer. The legislation authorizes embryo farms, which would allow for the production of human embryos in order that their stem cells can be harvested.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Wilmington, Chris DiPietro, said, "SB 55 creates a subclass of individuals who can be sacrificed for scientific research conducted, not for their benefit, but solely for the benefit of other people. Such a practice is an affront to the inviolable character of innocent human life."

The Catholic diocese has launched a large-scale grassroots effort to defeat the legislation, which would permit cloning of human embryos for biomedical and agricultural research. The Knights of Columbus is also engaging in an educational campaign about the potentially deadly effects of the legislation.

The Delaware legislation has the support of scientists from the University of Delaware and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.

Related web sites:
Catholic Diocese of Wilmington –