by Steven Ertelt
March 1, 2006
Jackson, MS (LifeNews.com) — Members of a Mississippi state Senate committee defeated a comprehensive ban on human cloning on Tuesday that would have prohibited the grisly practice for both reproductive and research purposes.
The Senate Public Health Committee killed a House-approved bill that enjoyed the support of pro-life groups. But opponents claimed the ban would set back embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to help any patients.
Sandy Ellard, a Mississippi pro-life leader who represents National Right to Life told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal newspaper that pro-life advocates "are really upset about this."
Ellard said she "was very disappointed at Sen. Nunnelee and the committee … for not allowing the full Senate to discuss the issue."
She was referring to Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee, who promoted an amendment to modify an abortion bill to ban virtually all abortions in the state just hours after the cloning ban vote.
Nunnelee claimed "there are good and sincere people on both sides" of the embryonic stem cell research issue.
Terri Herring of Pro-Life Mississippi said her group also opposes human cloning because "these lives are being created specifically for death" through research."
Tupelo businessman Jack Reed, who founded the pro-embryonic stem cell research group People of Faith for Stem Cell Research, told the newspaper he was pleased with the vote.
"I would be ashamed if Mississippi put up a wall banning this research," Reed said. "We are so pleased the Senate saw that."
The Methodist Rehabilitation Center and University Medical Center also opposed the bill.