South Dakota House Unanimously Backs Human Cloning Ban

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 20, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota House Unanimously Backs Human Cloning Ban

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 20, 2004

Pierre, SD ( — Members of the South Dakota House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill to ban human cloning on Thursday. The legislation closes a loophole in a prior law that could lead scientists engage in reproductive human cloning.

South Dakota already has a law in place banning experiments on human embryos, which would prevent scientists in the state from cloning human embryos to be killed in research for their stem cells.

That law, passed in 2000, is one of the strongest in the nation. However, it doesn’t prevent the creation of cloned human embryos in the first place — just research on them. That made the House-approved legislation necessary.

Rep. Kathy Miles, D-Sioux Falls, said SB184 would make sure reproductive cloning doesn’t take place.

"Some want to put cloned embryos in women’s wombs to accept a live birth while others would clone human embryos solely to destroy them in research," Miles said during the debate, according to the Associated Press. "Human cloning should not be allowed for any purpose. Creating human lives solely to destroy them is an abuse of science."

Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, praised the lawmakers for supporting the pro-life legislation.

"This and other new laws, when enacted, should receive attention because they show that the Korean announcement, while it may show that human cloning is possible, has done nothing to show lawmakers that it is a good or acceptable idea," Doerflinger said.

The legislation would also prevent materials involved in human cloning from being transported into the state.

The bill was previously approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by a vote of 6 to 0, then by the full Senate on January 29 by a vote of 33 to 1.

The legislation now heads to pro-life Governor Mike Rounds (R), who is expected to sign it.

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