by Steven Ertelt
September 29, 2005
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — The Wisconsin state Senate has signed off on a human cloning ban that prohibits both reproductive and research cloning. However, Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, has said he would veto the bill.
After debating the bill for two days, the Senate approved it on a 21-12 vote. The state Assembly passed the bill in June.
"To me this is an issue about life and where and when it is acceptable for humans to take a life," said Sen. Ron Brown, a Republican. Brown said the embryo created for research "is a life and it’s not acceptable at any time to take a life."
The legislation prohibits any form of human cloning — whether to produce babies intended to be born or to create human embryos to be destroyed for their stem cells for research.
Doyle said the provisions against research cloning trouble him because he favors an aggressive embryonic stem cell research strategy backed by taxpayer dollars.
"It will be vetoed and it’s not going to become law in the state of Wisconsin," he said.
"Allowing our scientists to search for cures to the world’s deadliest diseases isn’t about being liberal or conservative. It’s about being compassionate," the governor said in a statement.
Despite the governor’s veto threat, Barb Lyons, president of Wisconsin Right to Life, says her group plans to begin a massive campaign to generate phone calls and emails.
Senators tried to remove the research cloning prohibition with an amendment on the Senate floor, but it failed on a narrow 17-16 vote.
The measure is Assembly Bill 499, authored by Representative Steve Kestell and Senator Joe Leibham, both Republicans.
Six other states have banned all forms of human cloning, including Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota.