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Stealth Cloning: Washington state tries legalizing cloning on the sly

Wesley J. Smith

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Let's call it "stealth human-cloning legalization." It's easy to do: First, write a proposed law that you claim outlaws human cloning. But then, engage in a little slight of hand here, some redefining of a few crucial terms there, and -- viola! -- your supposed cloning ban actually authorizes human cloning, implantation, and gestation through the ninth month.

That is what New Jersey legislators did when they passed and then Governor James McGreevey signed S-1909 last year, a law that was sold to the public as outlawing human cloning but which actually permits the creation of cloned human life, and its implantation and gestation up to and including the very moment prior to the emergence of the cloned baby from the birth canal.

Other state legislators have tried the same shell game without success, specifically in Texas, Delaware, Maryland, and Illinois. And now Washington joins the infamous list with Senate Bill 5594, a thoroughly disingenuous piece of legislation that purports to outlaw the cloning of human beings, but by manipulating language and redefining terms, actually permits human cloning and gestation of the resulting cloned embryos through the ninth month.

Before we begin to blow away the smoke and shatter the mirrors of S-5594, let's recap exactly what cloning is. There are now two ways to create new mammalian life, including humans. The first is that great old standard, "sexual" reproduction, in which sperm meets egg. The second way to reproduce is a strictly human invention -- known as "asexual" reproduction -- or more commonly, cloning.

The primary cloning technique is called "somatic cell nuclear transfer" (SCNT). This is the technology used to create Dolly the sheep.

Read the entire article on the National Review website (new window will open).

Posted: 16-Feb-05



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