Louisiana Panel Approves Bill Limiting Funding of HUman Cloning Activities

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Louisiana Panel Approves Bill Limiting Funding of Human Cloning Activities Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 10
, 2008

Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — A Louisiana House panel approved a bill on Wednesday that would limit state taxpayer funding for any human cloning activities. Pro-life advocates oppose such research because it requires the destruction of human life – they prefer alternatives like the use of adult stem cells.

The House Health and Welfare Committee signed off on the measure after a lengthy debate between pro-life groups and those saying the funding ban would limit the ability of scientists to find cures.

Gene Mills, executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum, told the panel House Bill 370 was needed to make sure taxpayers are not forced to finance the destruction of days-old unborn children.

“There’s no question we are dealing with the human species,” he said, according to a Baton Rouge Advocate report. “You decide where we draw the ethical line, and the moral line … not doctors who want to get research dollars.”

Dorinda Bordlee, an attorney with the Bioethics Defense Fund, told LifeNews.com she also supports the bill.

"With the backing of Governor Jindal, the bill by Rep. Cameron Henry tracks the language of a 2005 Arizona law that prohibits taxpayer funding of cloning human embryos for any purpose," she said.

"Arizona’s biotech community is thriving, showing that science and ethics can both be respected in public policy," she said.

Former lobbyist Kyle Ardoin said his eight-year-old daughter has diabetes and he doesn’t want any law passed that might limit the ability of researchers to find a cure or a way to limit the effects of the condition.

“I do not want any possible … hurdle (to research) in the state of Louisiana or any other state that could possibly bring a cure for my little girl and the many children in this state and all over the country,” Ardoin said, according to the paper.

However, it is adult stem cell research that has shown the most promise in children with Type 1 juvenile diabetes.

In June 2007, researchers at University of Florida found stem cells from umbilical cord blood helped children.

The study found that stem cell transfusions using the adult stem cells helped the children reduce their disease severity, possibly re-setting the immune system and slowing the destruction of their insulin-producing cells.

Michael J. Haller, MD, a professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine and lead author of the study, presented the findings at the American Diabetes Association’s 67th Annual Scientific Sessions.

"After only six months, it is too early to tell how long the children will benefit from this therapy, but early signs indicate that it may have helped enhance blood glucose control and management," Dr. Haller said in a statement.