U.S. House Panel Backs Ban on Human Cloning

Full Chamber´s Vote Is Expected Next Week

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 24, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. House Judiciary Committee today by a 18-11 vote approved a bill to prohibit human cloning.

Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., a Wisconsin Republican, stated, «We must not allow some on the fringes of society to start the cloning of humans. Opening the door to human cloning — even with good intentions — inevitably will lead to experimentation on the child-to-be.»

The bill, H.R. 2505, introduced by Representatives Dave Weldon, a Florida Republican, and Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat, would provide for a comprehensive ban on human cloning.

The committee defeated a substitute amendment offered by Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, which would have prohibited human cloning only in cases where the intent is to initiate a pregnancy. Pro-life groups referred to that proposal as the «human embryo farm bill» and the «clone and kill bill,» because it would allowed for the mass production of embryos that would consequently be destroyed for research.

As early as next week, the full House of Representatives may take up the human cloning issue.

Meanwhile, the committee passed by a voice vote a bill that would ensure that a fetus breathing when it leaves a mother´s womb, even during an abortion procedure, would be treated as a person under federal law.

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