House Defeats Fake Human Cloning Ban Allowing it For Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

House Defeats Fake Human Cloning Ban Allowing it For Research Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 6
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — The House of Representatives defeated a human cloning bill Wednesday that claimed to prohibit the grisly practice but would have allowed scientists to create and destroy human embryos for research. The 213-204 vote comes just one day before the House will consider a measure on embryonic stem cell research.

Backers of the phony ban needed a two-thirds vote ot move the bill forward but they were unable to even get a majority vote for their measure.

Rep. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and co-sponsor of the measure, claimed the debate was only about reproductive human cloning.

"With the enactment of this legislation, reproductive human cloning will be illegal, nothing more, nothing less," he said.

Backers of the bill said it would prohibit cloning but the definitions in the bill define human cloning as the implantation of a cloned human being, not the creation of a human embryo.

That fact was not lost on opponents of the bill such as New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith.

"The fact is, this bill doesn’t ban any human cloning at all — absolutely none. Researchers are able to clone to their heart’s content as long as the kill and destroy the human embryo," the Republican said.

He pointed out that the bill would make it law requiring scientists to kill cloned human beings because it fails to ban all forms of human cloning.

"This bizarre piece of legislation would make it illegal not to kill a cloned human being," Smith added. "This phony ban sanctions unlimited human cloning research. This would allow the creation of human life for its sole purpose of destruction."

Congressman Dave Weldon, a Florida Republican and a physician by profession, opposed the measure as well and called on Congress to debate his bipartisan bill to ban all forms of human cloning.

"I am millions of Americans believe that human life is sacred and we should not be wholesale reproducing it and making it the ‘lab rat of the 21st century,’" he said. "They will not be satisfied with doing research on human embryos and the next target will be the human fetus itself. That’s the direction we’re going."

Weldon said the bill would put a lot of pressure on scientists to collect human eggs for research and that would lead to the exploitation of women.

He pointed out that the drugs used to cause women to ovulate and create eggs for research can lead to a host of medical problems and that women suffer from severe depression in 25 percent of the cases.

Had the House approved the bill, President Bush likely would have vetoed it. He has called repeatedly for a complete ban on human cloning.