FC: Congress hears more demands to criminalize human cloning

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Mar 23 2002 - 00:10:11 PST

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       Coalition urges a ban on all human cloning
       By Mary Leonard, Globe Staff, 3/22/2002
       WASHINGTON - Congress is facing mounting calls from some unexpected
       quarters to halt medical research involving human cloning.
       Since the US House approved a ban on both reproductive and therapeutic
       cloning last summer, the dynamic in the nation's capital has changed
       from one that pitted religious conservatives and antiabortion groups
       against scientists, biotechnology firms, and patient advocates. Now
       some environmentalists, feminists, and other activists are joining
       social conservatives in calling on lawmakers to put the laboratory
       work on hold.
       A broad coalition of biologists, ethicists, public-health advocates,
       abortion proponents, and human-rights activists signed a letter to
       leaders of the US Senate this week, urging a total ban on cloning to
       make babies and an indefinite moratorium on the creation of cloned
       embryos for use in medical research.
       ''Human cloning could be a gateway to a frightening new kind of
       eugenics, where discrimination and inequality are permanently written
       into our genetic code,'' said Marcy Darnovsky, a spokeswoman for the
       Center for Genetics and Society, a group based in Oakland, Calif.,
       that organized the 100 signers and produced the letter.
       In the Senate, lobbying is intense on the cloning issue. Senate
       majority leader Thomas A. Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota, has
       indicated that he will schedule a debate on cloning legislation in
       April or May.
       One bill - sponsored by Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas -
       would ban and criminalize all human cloning. Senators Edward M.
       Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of
       California, have introduced a separate measure banning reproductive
       cloning but allowing biomedical research with cloned embryos.
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