Nebraska Legislature Will Tackle Bill This Week to Ban Human Cloning

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nebraska Legislature Will Tackle Bill This Week to Ban Human Cloning Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 5
, 2007

Lincoln, NE ( — If the state of Nebraska adopts legislation that would ban all forms of human cloning, such a law would put severe limits on scientific research. That’s the claim of a leading professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Nebraska appears poised for another debate on biotechnology issues and one that comes just days after neighboring Iowa ditched its own ban on all human cloning.

David Crouse, an administrator and professor at UNMC, says a Nebraska cloning ban "won’t be good for us" even though human cloning has never led to any treatments for patients.

The Nebraska unicameral legislature is set to consider the ban, LB700, this week and the Judiciary Committee plans a Wednesday hearing on it. The bill would prohibit both reproductive and research-based cloning and anyone who engages in the practice would be subject to a $10,000 fine and a maximum of 10 years in prison.

This isn’t the first time Nebraska lawmakers have considered a human cloning ban as previous versions never made it to the floor for a vote. But Sen. Mark Christensen, the sponsor of this year’s attempt, has secured a majority of the state senators as cosponsors, a good indicator of possible success..

Chip Maxwell, executive director of the Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research, told AP the state needs to prohibit the grisly practice.

“Let’s capitalize on other forms of research,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell said the state would not suffer if it enacts a human cloning ban saying that those who worry about scientists leaving the state are employing a "sky’s going to fall argument."

Meanwhile, a coalition of groups including Nebraska Right to Life, the Nebraska Family Council, and several different church groups, are urging the state legislature to approve the ban. They’ve released a joint statement supporting it.

"The cloning of human beings for any reason is wrong and should be banned in Nebraska," they say. "Cloning dehumanizes human procreation and treats human beings as laboratory products, as nothing more than carriers of traits that others find useful."

"By failing to enact LB 700, the Legislature would give a green light to this violation of human dignity and human rights," they said.

Related web sites:
Nebraska Right to Life –