States Debate Human Cloning Issue

As federal legislation to ban all types of human cloning makes its way through the US Congress, similar proposals are appearing at the state level – many propelled by claims by anti-abortion forces that the practice threatens “unborn” lives. Currently, there are at least 48 bills to ban or regulate cloning that are making their way through legislatures in 22 states, according to USA Today. “In the absence of a ban by the federal government, states are acting on the issue,” Indiana state Senator Patricia Miller (R) told Stateline.org.

Joining Michigan and Iowa, Arkansas recently enacted a complete ban on both reproductive and therapeutic cloning – the cloning of human cells to make stem cells, which could hold the key to cures for many degenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, neural injuries and diabetes. In addition, both the House and the Senate in North Dakota have approved a bill banning all types of cloning while one chamber in Indiana, Kentucky and New Jersey have passed complete bans. On the other hand, Louisiana, Virginia and Rhode Island have all passed laws banning only reproductive cloning while California has passed a law specifically supporting therapeutic cloning. Maryland, Tennessee, Washington and New York are among those predicted to do the same.

The Feminist Majority, along with other healthcare advocates, believes that cloning research is critical to finding future treatments and cures for diseases. A survey released recently shows that the majority of Americans also support stem cell research; 67 percent said they favored Congress allowing research with therapeutic cloning to continue.


Stateline.org 3/13/03; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 3/26/03, 3/21/03; USA Today 2/24/03

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