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
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .