Republican Study Committee

Cloning Debate Takes Orwellian Twist: Today’s Proposed Senate Legislation ‘Banning Human Cloning’ in Reality Gives Legal Protection to Human Cloners

Date: 02/03/2003

February 3, 2003

WASHINGTON – Today, members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) reacted to statements made by Senators who advocate a bill that would allow human cloning.

The bill introduced by Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Senators Arlen Specter R-Pa., Diane Feinstein, D-Ca., Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa would allow scientists to clone human embryos for the sole purpose of experimentation and then mandate the human embryos’ destruction within 14 days.

Although supporters of this legislation will argue that they are against the cloning of human embryos – that is exactly what the legislation allows.  The process that is used in human cloning (somatic cell nuclear transfer) creates an embryo, which under their legislation creates it for the sole purpose of destroying it for research and its parts.

Congressman Dave Weldon, a medical doctor and prime sponsor of legislation to ban all human cloning said, “If it’s not a cloned human embryo, why does their bill attempt to ban implanting it into a woman?  If it’s just an ‘unfertilized egg’ as Senator Feinstein claims, then I challenge them to drop the ‘unnecessary’ implantation ban from their bill.

“They know the facts conflict with their claims.”

Congressman Toomey, a cosponsor of legislation to ban all human cloning argued, “To say that somatic cell nuclear transfer does not result in a cloned human embryo is intellectually dishonest and an attempt to obfuscate.  Somatic cell nuclear transfer was precisely the procedure used to create ‘Dolly’ the sheep.  Clearly, ‘Dolly’ is and was a clone from her very beginning.  She did not start as something other than a clone and then became a clone.”  Toomey continued, “I agree with the President, who said in the State of the Union that ‘no human life should be started or ended as the object of an experiment.’ And we must, as the President stated, ‘pass a law against all human cloning.’  Unfortunately, the Hatch/Specter/Kennedy/Feinstein bill does not ban human cloning.  Instead it specifically allows for human cloning provided only that the cloned human embryo is killed.”

Congressman Joe Pitts, Chairman of the House of Representatives Values Action Team, went on to say, “The end does not justify the means. Fifty years ago we put a stop to the Nazis’ eugenics program because it was wrong.  Now we have an opportunity to stop human cloning before it happens. Creating human beings, however small, with the premeditated intent to kill them in research violates the core principles of medical and scientific ethics.  The American people understand right from wrong in this matter.  I’m sorry that some in the Senate do not.”

House Republican Study Committee (RSC)
Rep. Sue Myrick, Chairman
Neil Bradley, Executive Director
Sheila Moloney, Policy Director
Paul S. Teller, Legislative Director
Lisa Bos, Education Reform Project Director / Policy Specialist