Ohio Senate Passes Amendment to Ban Taxpayer-Funding of Human Cloning

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Senate Passes Amendment to Ban Taxpayer-Funding of Human Cloning

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 29
, 2008

Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — The Ohio Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment to a biotech funding bill that prohibits taxpayer-funding of human cloning. The Senate voted 21-11 to ban the use of funds from the state’s Biomedical Development Program for any activities involving human cloning.

Sen. Steve Buehrer, a Republican, offered the amendment to HB 554, an economic stimulus bill that would fund grants, loans and loan guarantees for biotech research and medical products from it.

With a bill to ban both forms of human cloning held up in committee, this is a way to limit the practice to make sure state residents don’t have their tax dollars used.

The adopted amendment ensures new money generated from new jobs under the bill will not be used for research and experimentation that creates and destroy human life.

The funding ban only applies to the economic stimulus bill and only for new money generated from it.

Ohio Right to Life told LifeNews.com it appreciated the vote and thanked Senator Buehrer along with Senator Tim Grendell and Senate President Bill Harris "for their role in this pro-life victory."

The pro-life group was concerned the bill was on a fast track in the Ohio General Assembly and that it could ultimately lead to taxpayers funding either reproductive or research-based human cloning.

"By their vigorous opposition to SB 174, a bill which would ban human cloning, the members of Ohio’s biotech industry have demonstrated their total disregard for the most basic principle of ethical medical research — do no harm," ORTL president Tracie Johnson told LifeNews.com before the vote.

"Despite the availability of ethical alternatives, such as induced pluripotent stem cells, they are intent on creating human life through cloning for the sole purpose of destroying it in research," she added.

Johnson said her group was concerned that HB 554 would become an "open invitation: to use tax dollars to fund the creation and destruction of human life.

‘While Ohio’s biotech industry obviously views ethical restrictions on their research as an unnecessary inconvenience, millions of Ohio taxpayers do not share their cavalier disregard for human life," she added. "Those taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the creation and destruction of human life through cloning."

Ohio Senators voting the PRO-LIFE position FOR the Buehrer Amendment were: Ron Amstutz; Steve Austria; John Boccieri; Steve Buehrer; John Carey; Gary Cates; Kevin Coughlin; Keith Faber; Tim Grendell; Bill Harris; Jeff Jacobson; Larry Mumper; Tom Niehaus; Joy Padgett; Tim Schaffer; Robert Schuler; Kirk Schuring; Bill Seitz; Bob Spada; Steve Stivers; and Jason Wilson. (21)

Ohio Senators voting the ANTI-LIFE position AGAINST the Buehrer Amendment were: Capri Cafaro; Teresa Fedor; David Goodman; Eric Kearney; Lance Mason; Dale Miller; Ray Miller; Sue Morano; Tom Roberts; Tom Sawyer; and Shirley Smith. (11)

Senator Mark Wagoner was not present for the vote on the cloning amendment.

ACTION: Contact your state senator and express your feelings about their vote on helping Ohio residents get out of funding human cloning. If you don’t know who your Senator is or his or her contact information, you can find out by going to https://www.senate.state.oh.us/senators/SenateZipSearch.html

Related web sites:
Ohio Legislature – https://www.legislature.state.oh.us
Ohio Senate – https://www.senate.state.oh.us
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org