Kansas Pro-Life Group Worried About Biotechnology Bill
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
March 24, 2004
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill on Monday to encourage the biotech industry in the state. Kansans for Life, the state’s largest pro-life group, has mixed feelings about the legislation.
"They expected us to be happy with the version that passed," Mary Kay Culp, Executive Director of Kansans for Life, tells LIfeNews.com. "We didn’t get everything we wanted."
Financially, the proposal would encourage the growth of the biotechnology industry in Kansas, by providing $500 million over 10 years in captured taxes from bioscience firms, and putting that money back into further research and development.
Supporters of the legislation claim the bill would create jobs and lure top researchers to the state. Kansans for Life has advocated amendments to the bill to restrict destructive research on human life, not the wholesale rejection of the legislation.
One of the most important aspects left out of the bill was a ban on human cloning, Culp told LifeNews.com.
"We’re trying to educate as fast as we can on this bill," said Culp.
Kansans for Life has been very vocal about what they expect in the bill, which already passed the House 119-6.
"Kansas should not create some authority through which our tiniest children could be destroyed for patents and profits," Kathleen Ostrowski, legislative director for Kansans for Life, said. "Unborn, unused embryos are alive, and we oppose experimenting with them."
Some restrictions on stem cell research already exist, but Ostrowski said state legislators can do more to respect life.
Culp told LifeNews.com the opposition is different than Kansans for Life usually encounters.
"We are fighting the abortion industry with our other bills," Culp said, referring to a recently failed unborn victims bill and legislation to set regulations on abortion facilities. "We are fighting the big biotech firms on this one."
Currently New Jersey has the most extreme pro-cloning legislation in effect, allowing for the cloning, implantation, and destruction of human life from the embryonic through the newborn stages of prenatal development.