Congressional Bill Would Ban Fetal Farming, House Vote Exepected Soon

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Bill Would Ban Fetal Farming, House Vote Exepected Soon Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 30, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Just one day after the Senate reached an agreement to vote on a ban on the grisly practice known as "fetal farming," a leading pro-life lawmaker introduced a companion version of the bill in the House. Rep. Dave Weldon, a Florida Republican, put forth the measure, which is expected to get a vote before the August recess.

Weldon’s bill would make it a federal crime to create, acquire, or traffic in tissue derived from a human embryo created and grown specifically for tissue harvesting.

“Growing a human fetus for the purpose of harvesting his or her body parts for experimental research is something right out of the most gruesome horror movie,” Weldon, a medical doctor, told

“Unfortunately, it’s also a real possibility unless the Congress acts to prohibit it," Weldon explained. "This bill will ban fetal farming before its advocates begin such unimaginable horrors in the name of science.”

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced that a unanimous consent agreement had been reached allowing votes on three bills related to embryonic stem cell research. One of the bills is nearly identical to the Weldon fetal farming ban and the Senate is expected to vote on those measures the week of July 10.

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, says cloning researchers are rapidly progressing down the road towards fetus farms.

"Some may wrongly believe that fetus farming is science fiction, but in reality, American researchers have already gestated cloned calves to four months before aborting them to harvest their kidney and heart tissue," Johnson told

Johnson points to the June 2005 issue of "Cloning and Stem Cells," a technical journal. In an article, Dr. Robert Lanza and other researchers at Advanced Cell Technology reported they created cloned cow fetuses, grew them in utero in adult cows to four months, performed abortions and used the liver tissue from the aborted cow fetuses for experiments and transplants.

The same could be done in humans, Johnson contends, especially if some sort of "artificial womb" is ever created.

"We need to enact the Santorum-Weldon bill now in order to prevent biotech firms from pursing such experiments with humans," Johnson told

In April 2002, President Bush warned that human cloning will lead to experimental human beings, "human embryo farms," and "a society in which human beings are grown for spare body parts and children are engineered to custom specifications."

The president would likely sign the Weldon bill into law if Congress approves it.

Related web sites:
Rep. Dave Weldon –
National Right to Life –
Info on Fetus Farming –