Senate Bill to Allow Limited Embryonic Stem Cell Research Could Conflict With Federal Ban on Human Cloning
A bill (SB 1272) in the California Senate to allow embryonic stem cell research could have the state "heading for [a] ... showdown" with the federal government, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports (Elias, AP/Contra Costa Times, 3/9). The measure, which is sponsored by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), would permit embryonic stem cell research in California under certain regulations. It would prohibit the sale of embryos (California Healthline, 1/17). Although the measure does not address cloning and only mentions stem cells derived from donated embryos, Ortiz said that the bill could conflict with federal legislation introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) that would ban all forms of human cloning, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. That bill is expected to come up for a vote in the next month. A similar bill (HR 2505) was approved by the U.S. House last year (AP/Contra Costa Times, 3/9). Ortiz last Friday held a hearing of the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee to address her measure (Elias, AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/9). Legal experts at the hearing said that any state law regarding human cloning or embryonic stem cell research would likely be overridden by federal law (Krieger, San Jose Mercury News, 3/9). Ortiz said she hopes to have the Legislature "on record as opposing" Brownback's bill (Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/9). But Ortiz' bill could have trouble gaining support, as it is expected to face opposition from antiabortion advocates who say that harvesting embryonic stem cells kills "potential lives" (California Healthline, 1/17).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.