Ohio Senate Committee Holds Fifth Human Cloning Hearing Ban Without Vote

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 30, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Senate Committee Holds Fifth Human Cloning Hearing Ban Without Vote

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 30
, 2008

Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — The Ohio Senate Judiciary Civil Justice Committee held its fifth hearing on a measure to ban all forms of human cloning without taking a vote. Several pro-life advocates testified on behalf of the bill and opponents testified for the first time, but the chairman, Sen. David Goodman, again refused a vote.

Paula Westwood, the director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati was one of the pro-life advocates who testified during the hearing.

However, she told LifeNews.com Wednesday she thinks Goodman is hoping the bill will die with the end of the legislative session.

"It is likely that the committee’s strategy is to drag the testimony out until session is and over the bill would then die with no record of votes," she said. "Ohioans and constituent voters would not know which senators support clone-and-kill research."

During the hearing, Tony Dennis, president and CEO of BiOhio and Dr. Arnold Strauss, medical director at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, both opposed the bill.

Westwood says she thinks they want the measure changed from banning both reproductive and research-based human cloning to only banning reproductive cloning.

That would allow scientists to engage in human cloning for the purposes of trying to find medical cures for diseases, even though it would involve the destruction of unborn children to achieve.

She said she was surprised when opponents asserted that "what is created with cloning and used for research (so-called ‘therapeutic’ cloning) is not an embryo at all."

"This is astounding when the same people, credentialed researchers, oppose reproductive cloning which would mean implanting this same artificially created embryo in a womb where it could grow into a fully developed child–only possible with embryos, not random cells,"

Westwood told LifeNews.com the claim appears to be an attempt to disguise support for research cloning and removing embryonic stem cells from unborn children after they’ve been killed.

Until the human cloning ban SB 174 gets a committee vote, it can’t go to the Senate floor for consideration.

The measure makes it so anyone who engaged in research-based or reproductive human cloning would be guilty of a misdemeanor and subjected to two years in prison and fines potentially totaling $250,000.

Previously, and though the legislature has held the human cloning ban for over a year, opponents came forward only earlier this month to announce objections to the bill.

Pro-life groups supporting the bill, including Ohio Right to Life and the Ohio Christian Alliance, are urging calls to the committee members to ask them to approve the human cloning ban without any changes.

ACTION: Contact members of the Ohio Senate Judiciary Civil Justice Committee and urge them to support the human cloning ban. Go here for a list of members and contact information.