by Steven Ertelt
April 16, 2008
Baton Rouge, LA — (LifeNews.com) — The Louisiana House approved legislation that would ban state funding for any form of human cloning by a lopsided bipartisan margin. The House signed off on the bill with a 90-9 vote and now the measure goes to the Senate for a debate and vote.
Rep. Cameron Henry, a Republican, is the sponsor of HB 370, which ensures Louisiana will not use either state or federal dollars to fund human cloning.
There was no debate in the chamber as legislators were nearly unanimous in supporting the legislation. Another six House members were not present for the vote.
However, lawmakers who are concerned the bill would also limit stem cell research funding asked Henry for an amendment that would allow the state to fund the use of embryonic stem cells created before August 2001.
The amendment puts the state in line with President Bush’s limits on forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.
Henry told lawmakers the measure has the support of pro-life Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has promised to sign the human cloning funding ban if it reaches his desk.
The House Health and Welfare Committee signed off on the measure last week 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.
Theres 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.