by Steven Ertelt
July 18, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The grisly practice of "fetal farming" would be banned under legislation the Senate signed off on Tuesday. The measure makes it a crime to create, acquire, or traffic in tissue derived from a human embryo created and grown specifically for tissue harvesting.
Fetal farming involves human embryos who are specifically implanted in a woman’s womb for the sole purpose of killing them months later for their tissue for research.
The Senate approved the measure, S. 3504, on a unanimous 100-0 vote.
Senator Rick Santorum, a pro-life Pennsylvania Republican is the leading sponsor of the bill.
"This bill simply ensures that we don’t cross the line of implanting embryos and growing them in a purely utilitarian way should these cells ever become desirable for research," Santorum said.
The measure now heads to the House, where Rep. Dave Weldon, a Florida Republican, has put forward another version of the bill.
The House is expected to vote on the bill Tuesday evening and President Bush has indicated he will sign it into law.
During the Senate debate on embryonic stem cell research, some supporters of the bill indicated the Santorum measure would ban a practice that doesn’t exist.
However, 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 LifeNews.com.
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 LifeNews.com.
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."
Weldon, a medical doctor, agrees.
“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 told LifeNews.com last month.
“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.”
Related web sites:
Rep. Dave Weldon – https://weldon.house.gov
National Right to Life – https://www.nrlc.org
Info on Fetus Farming – https://www.nrlc.org/killing_embryos/ArtificialWombs.html