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Bill banning cloning passed in US

3 March 2003
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 197

The US House of Representatives voted - after three hours of 'sometimes testy debate' - 241-155 last week to pass a bill that would ban both human reproductive cloning and the cloning of embryos for use in medical research, including stem cell research.

The bill, sponsored by Republicans Dave Weldon and Bart Stupak, if passed through the Senate, would mean that anyone who attempted to clone human cells to create an embryo could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $1 million fine.

Voting also took place on another bill, sponsored by Republicans Jim Greenwood, Anna Eshoo and Diane DeGette, that would have banned reproductive cloning but allowed cloning for research purposes. That bill was defeated by 231 votes to 174.

President Bush, who made clear his own views on cloning last year when the House of Representatives and Senate were debating similar bills, again made it clear in a statement on Wednesday, that he 'strongly supports' a ban on all human cloning, adding that cloning for research purposes was 'the destruction of nascent human lives'.

Senators are said to be 'divided' over whether to ban all cloning or allow cloning for research. Competing bills were introduced in the Senate last month. One, sponsored by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, would only prohibit reproductive cloning, but another, sponsored by Republican Senator Sam Brownback, would criminalise cloning for any purpose. The Bill passed by the House of Representatives will now be considered in the Senate, where it is said to have an 'uncertain future'.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
House votes to ban all human cloning
The New York Times |  27 February 2003
House votes to ban human cloning
Reuters |  27 February 2003
House votes to outlaw human cloning: ban includes research
LA Times |  28 March 2003
House votes to prohibit all human cloning
The Washington Post |  28 February 2003
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