‘Harry and Louise’ Ads Return to Lobby Against Ban On Human Cloning
In an effort to defeat legislation that would ban all forms of human cloning, a group led by entertainment-industry executives is reviving the "Harry and Louise" television ad campaign that helped "torpedo" former President Clinton's health care overhaul proposal in the early 1990s, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new ads air as the Senate prepares to vote on a bill (S 1899) sponsored by Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) that would prohibit both reproductive and therapeutic cloning. Similar legislation passed the House in July. The ads, some of which will debut tonight in the Washington, D.C., area during an episode of NBC's "The West Wing," feature the same actors from the Clinton-era ads who depict the fictional husband and wife characters, but this time they are having a conversation that aims to "differentiate [therapeutic] cloning from reproductive cloning." In one of the commercials, Louise describes therapeutic cloning as research that uses an unfertilized egg and a skin cell. "Is it cloning?" Harry asks her. "No ... just lifesaving cures," Louise replies. The ad campaign, which will be aired in the home states of "several key lawmakers" in coming weeks, is sponsored by CuresNow, or Citizens United for Research in Ethics and Science Now, a not-for-profit group founded by several Hollywood producers, directors and executives who have children with juvenile diabetes and believe that therapeutic cloning could lead to a cure for the disease. The Journal reports that supporters of the potential ban on cloning also are "revving up" their advertising efforts as the Senate nears a vote on the Brownback/Landrieu bill (McGinley, Wall Street Journal, 4/24).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.