by Steven Ertelt
March 26, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas state House last week voted twice on key bioethics issues of importance to pro-life groups. It approved a measure promoting adult stem cell research but defeated a proposal to ban combining human and animal cells to create mixed creatures referred to as chimeras.
The House voted 71-46 for and adult stem cell research bill which pro-life groups hope will lessen the perceived need for embryonic stem cell research. A final vote on the measure on Friday was a more lopsided 121-4.
The measure provides state funding for research using adult stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood and provides tax breaks to state residents who contribute to a new fund the state will create.
"We still need to ban human cloning, but at the same time, we need to let people know where the success is," sponsor Rep. Mary Pilcher Cook said, according to a Topeka Capital Journal news report. "It’s not from human cloning. It’s not from embryonic stem cells."
However, the House also gutted a bill that would have banned animal-human hybrids by defeating another proposal from Cook on a 63-52 vote margin. Scientists who engage in such grisly research would be fined $1 million and be sent to prison for five years.
Some members say the bill was unnecessary because such research may not be conducted presently in Kansas but Cook said the chimera ban was needed because science is advancing at such a rapid rate.
"It goes to the core of what it means to be human," she said. "There’s a real danger in people not taking the issue seriously."