Congress proposes ban on all human cloning

 Twenty Democrats, two Independents and 65 Republicans are co-sponsoring The Human cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, introduced by Congressmen Dave Weldon, MD (R-FL) and Bart Stupak (D-MI), which would prohibit any person or entity, in or affecting interstate commerce, from knowingly: (1) performing or attempting to perform human cloning; (2) participating in such an attempt; (3) shipping or receiving an embryo produced from human cloning; or (4) importing such an embryo. A similar bill was passed in July 2001 by the United States House with a bipartisan vote of 265-162, but the Senate failed to take up the bill despite President Bush's urging. "The USA has the intellectual integrity to acknowledge that there is no ethical difference between cloning for reproduction or cloning for research,in either case a human clone is created. They also acknowledge that it would be impossible to legally uphold any such differentiation," said a spokesperson for Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE). "If embryos are cloned for research then they will inevitably be available for pregnancy applications. Congressman Dave Weldon, a practising medical doctor, who achieved an overwhelming majority vote last time he proposed a similar bill, rightly points out that human cloning has not cured disease, that it exploits the integrity of women and their bodies, poses huge risks of abnormality to any children so created, and primarily is a gross offence against human dignity. "Opponents of the Weldon/Stupak Bill, heavily influenced by the interests of biotech companies, will still attempt to introduce alternative legislation which bans only reproductive cloning, but happily the general feeling from the USA is that they will be even less successful than last time. "Whether or not their cloning claims are true, the shoddy shenanigans of Clonaid and the Raelians over the last weeks have woken up the world to the reality of maverick science. We predict that the voting majority will be even higher than in 2001 when this bill goes through Congress, and we trust that it will be passed by the Senate as well." Source: CORE