Louisiana Senate Committee Moves Ban on Human Cloning Funding Forward
by Steven Ertelt
May 22, 2008
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — The Senate Committee on Health and Welfare moved a ban on taxpayer funding of human cloning forward on Wednesday and now it heads to the full Senate for a debate and vote. There was no opposition to HB 370 in the committee and the full Senate is expected to sign off on the bill.
To emphasize the grassroots support the measure has, Louisiana Right to Life officials turned in nearly 14,000 signatures from pro-life advocates.
The bill prohibits using any state funds on either reproductive or research-based human cloning.
State Rep. Cameron Henry, a Republican who is the main sponsor of the measure, told the panel that it would not affect the limited federal funding of embryonic stem cell research nor would it affect funding of adult stem cell research conducted at LSU or Tulane University.
In April, the Louisiana House approved the bill with a 90-9 bipartisan vote and pro-life Gov. Bobby Jindal has already indicated he would sign it into law.
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.
By simultaneously pushing for a separate bill to criminalize human cloning, legislators view the taxpayer funding ban bill as a less onerous burden on the scientific community, while still accomplishing the goal of focusing science on therapies that respect every human life, Bordlee added.
Benjamin Clapper, the director of the Louisiana Right to Life Federation, previously told LifeNews.com the signatures his group submitted "clearly shows that it is not just a few legislators and lobbyists in Baton Rouge who want cures backed and cloning banned."