by Steven Ertelt
February 4, 2005
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — An Arizona state House committee on Thursday approved a bill that would make sure state taxpayer funds are not used to fund any type of human cloning. Arizona lawmakers say the state has no laws banning human cloning and wants to make sure state funds are used if someone engages in such research.
The House Health Committee backed HB 2221 on a 7-2 vote and passed the measure on to the full House of Representatives.
Rep. Bob Stump, a pro-life Republican, also wants to ban all forms of human cloning. However if legislation to do that doesn’t pass, at least state dollars won’t be used to fund it.
"I hope to show that cloning is bad, but under this bill it will be legal," Stump said.
"If we devote state funds, we’re saying that Arizona would be party to a procedure that’s troubling ethically and morally," he added, according to an Arizona Republic newspaper report.
Rep. Linda López, a Tucson Democrat, was one of the two voting against the bill. She said she has ethical concerns about cloning but wants to make sure scientists can use the controversial research to pursue cures for diseases.
Arizona Right to Life director Shane Wikfors said Stump "delivered a very detailed and powerful presentation to the committee" and praised lawmakers for moving it forward.
Rep. Chuck Gray, another Republican, has filed dual bans on human cloning: H2324, which bans the practice through statute, and HCR2025, the constitutional amendment.
Gray’s amendment would allow voters to ban all forms of human cloning by approving an amendment that would appear on the 2006 ballot.
"As we progress through the ages, we get to deal with new things that we never thought of before," Gray said.
Wikfors of Arizona Right to Life told LifeNews.com that he applauded the "initiative to address the issue of cloning and embryonic stem cell research" the Stump and Gray took.
"The pro-life community should be excited about a statewide referendum on the issue because it will give us an opportunity to send a strong message across the country," Wikfors said.
Wikfors told LifeNews.com his group was hopeful that the ban on all human cloning could be approved, in addition to cutting off taxpayer funding for the practices.
"We are hopeful that we can go beyond just a ban on taxpayer dollars being used for cloning but rather a complete ban on all forms of human cloning," he said.
Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota each ban all forms of human cloning. Missouri is the only state that allows cloning, though legislation to ban it is in the works and state tax dollars cannot be used.
Related web sites:
Arizona Right to Life – https://www.azrtl.org