With the full support of President Bush, the US House of Representatives passed a ban yesterday on all types of human cloning with a vote of 241 to 155. Sponsored by Rep. David Joseph Weldon (R-FL) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the bill imposes a maximum penalty of $1 million and as many as 10 years in jail for reproductive cloning as well as 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. The bill also would prohibit the importation of medical therapies created from cloned human embryos.
The Feminist Majority, along with other healthcare advocates, believes that cloning research is critical to finding future treatments and cures for diseases. Another bill, that would have allowed therapeutic cloning but banned reproductive cloning-– a form used to create babies that are genetic replicas of adults-– failed with a vote of 231-174.
The bill’s chances of passing in the Senate are not good with several Republican senators-– including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)-- expressing their support for therapeutic cloning. Earlier this month, Hatch introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow therapeutic cloning.
Restrictions imposed by the Bush administration on stem cell research have already made it difficult for scientists to study therapeutic cloning, according to several scientists who testified before a Senate committee last year. These restrictions allow only 78 “self-sustaining” cell lines for federally funded research and access to these existing lines is quite arduous.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 2/28/03; New York Times 2/28/03; Washington Post 2/28/03; Fox News 2/28/03
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state.
In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .