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U.S. House of Representatives approves, 265-162, Weldon-Stupak Human Cloning Prohibition Act

Jul 31, 2001 | 2001 Press Releases

This is a press release from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), released Tuesday, July 31, 2001, at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Contact: Legfederal@aol.com

U.S. House of Representatives approves, 265-162,
Weldon-Stupak Human Cloning Prohibition Act;
rejects Greenwood substitute that would have allowed
human embryo farms in the United States

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives today approved, 265-162, a bill to prohibit the creation of human embryos by cloning.

“By an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the House has acted to block the creation of human embryo farms — but the bio-tech firms will begin this ghoulish industry soon, unless the Senate also acts,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

Johnson noted that the powerful Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) unsuccessfully tried to block House passage of the bill by arguing that so-called “therapeutic cloning” is necessary to make effective use of embryonic stem cells in future therapies. “Therapeutic cloning” is a term that cloaks the mass production of cloned human embryos to be destroyed in research.

Johnson commented: “The real agenda of the bio-tech industry is now revealed. Lethal research on the embryos already created for infertile couples is only a stepping stone to the bio-tech industry’s plan to mass-produce human embryos for the sole purpose of destroying them.”

A June 2001 International Communications Research poll found that 86% of adult Americans said “no” when asked, “Should scientists be allowed to use human cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical research?”

The House approved the Human Cloning Prohibition Act (H.R. 2505), sponsored by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fl.) and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mi.). The House first rejected, 178-249, a competing measure (“substitute amendment”) proposed by Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Pa.) and backed by the bio-tech industry lobby, which would have allowed embryos to be created by cloning for research. The Greenwood bill also would have made it a crime to implant any such cloned embryo in a woman’s womb — causing NRLC to label the measure as the “clone and kill” bill.

A major biotechnology firm, Advanced Cell Technology of Worcester, Massachusetts, this month said that it will begin actual human cloning procedures “soon.” Many federal bio-ethics commissions and top cloning researchers have acknowledged that the process involved, somatic cell nuclear transfer, will produce human embryos — although Greenwood and BIO are now engaged in an Orwellian attempt to deny this for political purposes. (For documentation, see www.nrlc.org/Killing_Embryos/Index.html.)

President Bush favors banning the cloning of human embryos, and on July 30 the White House said the Administration “strongly opposed” the Greenwood approach. In addition, various supporters of legal abortion, including the United Methodist Church and the Council for Responsible Genetics, have endorsed a ban on embryo cloning.