Dorgan Introduces Bill Banning Reproductive Cloning, Does Not Address Therapeutic Cloning
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) has introduced a bill (S 2076) that would ban reproductive cloning but "remains silent" about therapeutic cloning, the Washington Times reports. Barry Piatt, a spokesperson for Dorgan, said that the bill intends to "prevent the therapeutic procedure from being used to produce the first cloned infant." He added, "Everyone believes cloning a human being should be illegal. So ... let's close that door right now ... and then let's come to a sensible agreement on the other issues." However, the National Right to Life Committee said the measure "would leave the door open to human cloning." NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson said the bill's language "could allow a cloned human embryo to be implanted in a uterus and grown into a fetus for experimentation." Dorgan called the idea that his bill would allow human cloning "absurd." Two other cloning bills have been introduced in the Senate: S 1899, sponsored by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), would ban human cloning for any purpose; S 1758, sponsored by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Barbara Feinstein (D-Calif.), would ban reproductive cloning but would allow cloning for medical research purposes (Fagan, Washington Times, 5/13).
The Washington Post on Sunday interviewed several people who are part of a "small but serious cadre of would-be clonees," people who want to clone themselves for various reproductive and medical reasons. Although human reproductive cloning is not "widely favored" by Americans, these people have "studied the science" and "considered the issues" and now are "pushing policymakers" to consider legalizing the practice, the Post reports (Weiss, Washington Post, 5/12). The full article is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.