by Steven Ertelt
April 17, 2006
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — Opponents of human cloning and embryonic stem cell research are floating a new piece of legislation that they hope will eventually limit the practices. Lawmakers have proposed two bills that would prohibit women from donating their eggs for research purposes.
Women would not be punished under the measures, but doctors who collect eggs from women for experiments could lose their medical licenses.
Sen. Sharon Broome, sponsor of Senate Bill 452, says the bill will help curtail practices that involve the destruction of human life and prevent scientists from taking advantage of women.
Broome’s bill is based on legislation in other states, including California, Arizona, Missouri and New Jersey, and would prohibit giving women financial compensation for donating their eggs.
Groups on both sides of the stem cell research debate have been concerned that paying women for their eggs could coerce poor women into being taken advantage of by scientists desperate for eggs for research. College women could be victims as well.
Sen. Mike Michot has sponsored a companion bill requiring the state to set up a donation registry to keep track of when and where women made a donation of their eggs for research.
Pro-life groups say the measures are a good idea to protect women and human life at the same time.
Dorinda Bordlee, of the Bioethics Defense Fund, told the Baton Rouge paper, "We want to take a step back and say ‘Let’s see what our state would look like if we had human cloning experimentation happening.’"
Advocates of human cloning and embryonic stem cell research say they oppose the measures because the represent another effort at putting up roadblocks to scientists engaging in them.
Dr. Claude Bouchard, executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, told the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper, that the bills are “based on the same philosophy of those whose goal is to try to prevent …. research to be undertaken in this state.”
But Broome said the egg donation process is painful for women and could cause them medical problems.
“I firmly believe in protecting the health of women. It’s a growing health concern as a result of this egg farming,” Broome told the Advocate newspaper.
Bordlee said students and poor women may be inclined to make the donations because they can receive $5-8,000 as a result, but the procedure can leave women with infertility problems, liver damage, or other health concerns.
Michot agreed as well and called the two bills a "pro-life move."