Iowa Gov Signs Human Cloning, Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Iowa Gov Signs Human Cloning, Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 2
, 2007

Des Moines, IA ( — Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed a bill into law on Thursday that overturns the state’s ban on human cloning and allows scientists to use embryonic stem cells from days-old unborn children who are cloned and killed. SF 162 repeals a 2002 law that banned grisly research involving the destruction of human life.

In a signing message obtained, Culver claimed the cloning bill would result in cures for patients.

“Today, thousands of Iowans who have been affected by serious illness and disease now have hope,” he alleged.

“Throughout the campaign, I promised Iowans that this administration would do everything in my power to repeal this law, and today, we keep that promise," he said.

The governor said the new law would help in the "search for lifesaving cures for diseases like cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s."

However, leading scientists say, for example, that embryonic stem cell research will likely never yield a cure for Alzheimer’s.

"Alzheimer’s is a more global disease, with an effect on numerous kinds of cells," Steve Stice, a stem cell researcher at the University of Georgia, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. "That makes it much more difficult for a cell therapy to be effective."

In sending the bill to the governor, the Iowa House approved the measure Thursday night on a 52-46 vote after the close 26-24 Senate vote.

The House only approved the bill because a pro-life legislator accidentally voted yes and Representative Brian Quirk, a Democrat who promised to oppose the bill, changed his mind at the last minute after a phone call from rock star Sheryl Crow.

Kim Lehman, the president of Iowa Right to Life, condemned the vote saying the new law "will allow scientists to begin cloning humans for research."

"By doing this, Iowa is turning humans into a commodity for science," she told

Other pro-life advocates were gravely disappointed by the bill’s passage.

"In a sad irony, lawmakers passed the bill on the 10th anniversary of the day that scientists announced the birth of Dolly the sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal," the Family Research Council said in a statement after the vote.

"Although the outcome was a setback, we are encouraged by the number of citizens who made their voices heard on behalf of the sanctity of human life. Hopefully, those same principled voters will remember this grave mistake as they elect their next leaders," the pro-life organization added.

Related web sites:
Iowa Right to Life Committee –