by Steven Ertelt
March 30, 2005
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — An Arizona state Senate committee signed off on a legislation that would prohibit the use of taxpayer funds for human cloning in the state. The Arizona House has already approved the measure, which now heads to a full Senate vote.
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.
"If we devote state funds to this endeavor I believe we are saying the state of Arizona will be party to a procedure which is very troubling ethically and genetically," Stump told lawmakers. "If the state of Arizona were to fund human cloning it would be an unprecedented step" We would be authorizing for the first time the government to fund the creation and destruction of human life."
The measure does not ban the use of private funds for the research as long as it is not conducted at a state-funded college or university.
According to the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper, Sen. Gabrielle Giffords, a Tucson Democrat, opposed the measure. She worried that it would put Arizona behind other states when it comes to advancing scientific research.
But Stump said he was concerned that the same kind of failed attempts to clone animals would occur on humans, not that Dolly the sheep was produced after 200 other sheep died.
"Are we really willing to accept that sort of failure rate on human embryos?" he asked.
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.
The Senate Committee on Government Accountability and Reform is set to vote on a complete ban on all forms of human cloning today. Human cloning for both research and reproductive purposes would be prohibited.
That measure would become part of the state constitution if receives backing from state voters.
"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.
"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