Georgia Committee Approves Bill Limiting In-Vitro Fertilization, Embryo Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia Committee Approves Bill Limiting In-Vitro Fertilization, Embryo Research

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 10
, 2009

Atlanta, GA ( — A Georgia Senate committee has approved legislation that would limit the use of in vitro fertilization and embryo research. With concerns that the use of the medical technology is going overboard, pro-life groups are promoting the bill, the Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act.

The bill comes at a time when concerns are high regarding a mother who recently gave birth to eight IVF-produced children.

Georgia Right to Life says it is apparent from the recent birth of octuplets to a southern California woman that the fertility industry needs governmental oversight, thus the need for SB 169.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed the bill on a 7-6 vote and the Rule Committee signed off on the measure. Now it heads to the full Senate for a debate and vote.

Governor Sonny Perdue has issued a statement saying he opposes President Barack Obama’s decision to force taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research — leading some to believe he will sign the bill.

"I think that there are other tissues that we have demonstrated in the last few years that if we will aggressively pursue the science in those areas I think we can absolutely do more to find a cure as rapidly through those methods as we can sacrificing Human Embryos for the sake of science," he said. "I am totally opposed."

Daniel Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, says the bill allows for the advancement of scientific research, while also addressing the important ethical questions about biotechnology.

He says the bill does not prevent continuation of research that is already being done on existing stem cell lines and supports adult stem cell, research and studies using induced pluripotent stem cells.

At the same time, it limits the creation of new embryos in Georgia for destructive, scientific purposes such as embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, human-animal hybrids, and gestating in artificial wombs.

"We have always supported adult stem cell research which to date has 70 known cures to its credit. We are opposed to destructive embryonic stem cell research and applaud the committee for passing SB 169 out of committee," Becker told

Becker, who testified before the committee, said a human embryo "is one of us, fully human with great potential."

"Biological science tells us this. We do not think that we need to sacrifice human life for money and economic development or the remote possibility of a medical cure for someone else," he added. "The Nuremburg trials taught us that human beings should not be experimented on to advance science."

Becker says groups that want human embryos to be used for research in Georgia are lobbying hard to defeat this bill.

ACTION: Go to this web site to find contact information for your state senators and then urge strong support for SB 169 to limit embryo research.

Related web sites:
Georgia Right to Life –

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