Ohio Senate Committee Passes Ban on Human-Animal Hybrid Cloning

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ohio Senate Committee Passes Ban on Human-Animal Hybrid Cloning

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 27
, 2010

Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — On Tuesday, the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee heard final testimony on SB 243, the ban on human cloning and human-animal hybrids. The legislation is based on similar bans in Louisiana and Arizona and one Oklahoma is considering.

Late Wednesday, State Senator Steve Buehrer introduced a sub-bill of SB 243 which presented a Human-Animal Hybrid Ban as a stand-alone bill. This legislation has bipartisan support, while a ban on human cloning does not.

Ohio pro-life advocates tell LifeNews.com the sub-bill is slated for a vote early next week in the full Senate.

Chris Long, of the Ohio Christian Alliance, the group that has spearheaded the effort, testified for the legislation along with Mark Harrington of the Center for Bio Ethical Reform.

Paula Westwood of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati and nationally known scientist Dr. David Prentice from the Family Research Council also testified supporting the measure.

Westwood said, "Despite the fact that simply the desire to genetically mix humans with animals is morally abhorrent, and such experimentation kills human life, the only dangerous principle some scientists appear to be operating under is, ‘If we can, we will.’"

Animal-human hybrid experimentation is currently legal and being conducted in England. Consequently, bans similar to Ohio’s state-level bill have been introduced at the federal level over the past several years by pro-life members of Congress, she said.

It is unknown how many U.S. laboratories are currently conducting some form of human-animal research, but based on testimony against the ban Tuesday, it is clear that researchers want the opportunity to do so to remain open.

Ohio Right to Life’s Mark Lally, Barry Sheets with Citizens for Community Values, and Dr. Dennis Sullivan of Cedarville University, also took the pro-life side in favor of the ban.

On the other side, James Wells from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the University of Cincinnati, and Tony Dennis of BioOhio, argued against it.

They said the bills would hurt Ohio in its ability to attract some of the brightest minds in the scientific community.

In June of last year, pro-abortion Gov. Ted Strickland upset pro-life Ohio residents by using his line-item veto to axe the section of the $1.3 billion funding bill banning state funds for cloning human beings.

Mike Gonidakis, the director of Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews.com at the time, “By vetoing a ban on using taxpayer funds for human cloning, Ted Strickland has demonstrated that he supports treating human life as a commodity."

"Most Ohioans don’t share Governor Strickland’s cavalier disregard for the value of human life and they should not be forced to pay for its creation, exploitation and destruction in cloning research,” Gonidakis said.

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