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Cloning and the First State

Wesley J. Smith

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With a dishonest bill pending, Delaware looks to join New Jersey as a haven for human cloning.

Cloning advocates are playing a shell game with the American people. At the federal level, they advocate the legalization of human cloning but assert that cloned embryos should be destroyed after 14 days of development and never implanted in wombs (the Hatch / Feinstein Bill). But this is a diversionary political tactic. Hatch / Feinstein's true purpose is to prevent passage of a total federal ban on cloning by human somatic nuclear cell transfer (SCNT), the Brownback / Landrieu bill. The Hatch forces hope to divert enough votes so the Brownback bill cannot muster the 60 votes necessary to break a Senate filibuster.

Meanwhile, at the state level, the biotechnology industry is pursuing an even more radical cloning agenda. Based on state legislation that has recently passed or is now pending, it is now clear that Big Biotech wants a legal license to conduct vivisecting research upon cloned human embryos and fetuses through the ninth month of gestation.

New Jersey, enthusiastically supported by biotech's lobbying arm, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), has just enacted such a law (S-1909/A2840). The Garden State now explicitly permits the creation of human cloned embryos, their implantation into wombs, and their gestation to the point of birth. The only thing that cannot be done with a cloned human life is cultivating the clone "through the egg, embryo, fetal and newborn stages into a new human individual." [emphasis added] In other words, gestating a human clone through embryo and fetal, but not newborn, stages is perfectly legal.

One law might be an anomaly, a case of bad drafting. But a virtually identical bill was introduced last year in Texas. And now a bill is pending in Delaware that, while somewhat differently worded, would also permit gestation of a cloned fetus through the ninth month.

The Delaware Bill (Senate Bill-55), disingenuously entitled the "Cloning Prohibition and Research Protection Bill," purports to prohibit human cloning. But this is subterfuge. Like New Jersey's law, it actually would explicitly permit human cloning, implantation, and gestation--so long as the purpose of these actions is not to bring a cloned baby to actual birth.

Read the entire article on The Weekly Standard website.



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