Americans to Ban Cloning

Reaction from Legislators to Advanced Cell Technology’s Human Cloning Announcement of November 25, 2001

Date: 11/25/2001
  • Rep. Dick Armey (R.-Texas), House Majority Leader: Armey called ACT’s announcement “disturbing” and said that the news should “set off a four alarm wake-up call in the U.S. Senate.” He urged the Senate to join the House in banning human cloning, calling it “amoral, scientifically suspect tinkering with the miracle and sanctity of life” (Freedom Works release, 11/26).
  • Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.): “This leap in scientific research moves us one step closer to a world in which there is an apparent disregard for both … morality and the sanctity of life,” Buyer said. He added, “Science should, and must, continue on a path of advancement, yet not at the price of this country’s morality and ethics” (Buyer release, 11/28).
  • Rep. James Greenwood (R-Pa.): Greenwood, who sponsored a previous House bill that would have banned reproductive cloning but allowed therapeutic cloning, stated in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed that although he “completely oppose[s]” reproductive cloning, somatic cell nuclear transfer “should not be banned” because it “holds great promise” for scientists looking for cures for diseases (Greenwood, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/28).
  • Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-Minn.): Gutknecht called ACT’s announcement “very disturbing.” He said that the House has “emphatically” expressed opposition to human cloning, adding that the Senate needs to “quit dragging [its] feet on this very basic question” (Gutknecht release, 11/27).
  • Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.): Linder called cloning a “dangerous experimentation with human life” and said that the United States “must not stray from [its] moral foundations — even in the name of progress” (Linder release, 11/28).
  • Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.): Myrick called for an “immediat[e]” ban on the “horrific practice” of human cloning (Myrick release, 11/28).
  • Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ill.): Pence “condemned” human cloning, saying that “[no] ethical case can be made for cloning a human being.” Pence said that a ban would send a message to the world that “[h]umanity will … not be mastered by science” (Pence release, 11/26).
  • Rep. Ronnie Shows (R-Miss.): Shows stated that human embryonic cloning is not only “bad public policy” but also “frightening.” He expressed his agreement with the National Right to Life Committee‘s Douglas Johnson that “these cloned human embryos are human lives” that should not be “killed to provide biological raw material” (Shows release, 11/28).
  • Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.): Shelby, the co-sponsor of a Senate bill to ban all forms of human cloning, stated in a USA Today op-ed that cloning efforts “mark a new and decisive step toward turning human creation into a manufacturing process that undermines the value of human life and portends unimaginable ethical choices” (Shelby, USA Today, 11/28).
  • Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.): “[B]uilding a life, whether you want to call it a ‘cellular life’ or a ‘human life’ to serve as a discardable donor is not moral science. … The cloning of a human would dramatically alter society’s perception of what it means to be a human being,” Stearns said (Stearns release, 11/28).
  • Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.): Stupak, a co-sponsor of the bill that passed in the House banning all human cloning, said that the Senate needs to act “immediately” to ban cloning. “The human race is not open to experimentation at any level,” Stupak said (Stupak release, 11/28).
  • Sens. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) and Mark Dayton (D-Minn.): Wellstone and Dayton said that banning all human cloning would “close the door on medical research” for many cures for injuries and diseases. The senators said, however, that they support a ban on reproductive cloning (Hotakainen, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/30).