Senate Human Cloning Ban Reintroduced as Stem Cell Research Returns

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 29, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Human Cloning Ban Reintroduced as Stem Cell Research Returns Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 29
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — As the Senate prepares to tackle the thorny issue of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research in the coming weeks, two senators are reintroducing a bill that would institute a national ban on all forms of human cloning.

Senators Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican running for president, and Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, are the main sponsors of the bill.

Their ban was first introduced in the 107th Congress, and was reintroduced in the 109th Congress but it has not moved forward and may not get a debate or vote with Democrats controlling the Senate.

Brownback talked about the cloning ban with in an interview Thursday morning and he said he couldn’t get an agreement from Democrats to allow a vote on the bill during the stem cell debate.

"When the [embryonic stem cell research bill] comes up, we were not able to get a clean shot at a prohibition on human cloning, which is why we’re introducing the bill now," he said.

"Even though we don’t have a [voting] agreement or the votes to pass it in the Senate, it is still important to continue this cause and put this bill forward and that’s why we’re doing that today," he said.

"To create humans for research purposes is wrong. There should be a national or federal ban on this taking place," Brownback told

The bill, which the House overwhelmingly approved in 2003, has the strong support of pro-life groups and Deirdre McQuade, of the pro-life office at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged Congress to adopt the ban.

“Cloning dehumanizes human procreation, treating new human life as a mere laboratory product made to specifications," she said in a statement sent to

"Whether used to bring cloned human embryos to live birth (so-called "reproductive" cloning), or to exploit them as sources of "spare parts" for other humans (so-called "therapeutic" cloning), human cloning diminishes us all," McQuade added.

She indicated that five states and over 20 countries have similar complete bans on cloning and that the United Nations has urged its member nations to enact such bans to preserve human dignity and protect women’s health.

McQuade also indicated that, in addition to destroying human life, cloning can exploit women.

"The cloning agenda poses a tremendous risk to women, as it would require exploiting countless women as egg factories," she explained. "Women have died from the hormonal manipulation required for egg extraction. Others have become seriously ill or lost their natural fertility at a young age."

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