California Stem Cell Group Will Spend Millions Opposing Human Cloning Ban

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Stem Cell Group Will Spend Millions Opposing Human Cloning Ban

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 10, 2005

Washington, DC ( — The California political group that spent $35 million last year to pass a ballot proposal to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on embryonic stem cell research will spend millions to defeat a Congressional bill that would ban all forms of human cloning.

Robert Klein, the wealthy real estate magnate behind the California group, says he intends to raise at least $1 million to find the measure, proposed by pro-life Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback.

The bill, sponsored by Florida Rep. Dave Weldon in the House, would ban human cloning for both research and reproductive purposes.

Klein’s group opposes the bill because Proposition 71 approved by voters in California will allow taxpayer funds to go to scientists and research universities that intend to use cloning to create human embryos to be destroyed for their stem cells.

The campaign committee is still $1.3 million in debt, according to an Associated Press report, but that is expected to be quickly erased as fundraising for lobbying against the human cloning ban begins.

Don Reed, who sits on the campaign committee’s board, told AP that the committee will hire a professional lobbying firm to lobby against the bill.

With the support of President Bush and a handful of new pro-life members of the Senate, prospects are better than ever for the human cloning ban, which has previously been approved by the House.

In August 2001, President Bush put in place a policy preventing federal funding of any new embryonic stem cell research. Instead, the Bush administration has funded the use of adult stem cells to the tune of $190 million.

Adult stem cells, which come from more ethical sources such as bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, have already produced 140 treatments for diseases and ailments. Research conducted with embryonic stem cells has yet to produce a cure for any patient.

ACTION: Contact your Representative or Senators about the bill.