The House Judiciary Committee Bans Cloning

Feb 20, 2003 12:17 PM EST

WASHINGTON - The House Judiciary Committee made a move on Wednesday (Feb. 12) to ban all forms of human cloning. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops applauded the decision.

Republicans on the committee approved a bill sponsored by Reps. Dave Weldon, R-Fla., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., that prohibits all human cloning. The same bill cleared the House last year but never saw a vote in the Senate.

"The Judiciary Committee should be commended for approving a real ban on human cloning, and for rejecting amendments to authorize the most grotesque application of human cloning -- mass producing human embryos to destroy them for experimentation," said Cathy Cleaver, spokeswoman for the bishops' Pro-Life Secretariat.

The bill now moves to the full House. President Bush promises to sign a bill to ban all human cloning. Two bills are currently competing in the Senate. One bill, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., mirrors the Weldon bill and would ban all forms of human cloning. The other bill, sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would allow "therapeutic cloning" for scientific research but would ban reproductive cloning. Cleaver said said the Feinstein-Hatch bill is ineffective because it still allows human clones to be created only to be destroyed in the research process. Defenders say therapeutic cloning could hold cures for some medical diseases.

By Mike Moon