Once More Into the Breach

As noted recently by a number of commentators, the State of the Union address suggests that efforts to criminalize therapeutic cloning and embryonic stem cell research in the US will continue.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Florida) have been trying to push their anti-human-cloning bills through Congress since 2001, with Bush's unofficial stamp of approval. If either bill becomes law, researchers who violate the law would face up to $1 million in fines and jail time. Such a law could also put a kink in California's stem-cell initiative, which dedicates $3 billion to stem-cell research over the next decade, and could cause problems for similar efforts in New Jersey, Maryland, Wisconsin and several other states.

"I think what we have here is a real civil war over stem cells, and if the president has his way with this policy and we see the Brownback bill passes, it's going to undercut every single state funding initiative for stem-cell research,"


"I would expect to see the Weldon and Brownback bills reintroduced soon. ... What's interesting about the president's statement is that he goes further than Brownback in seeking a ban on all embryo creation for research, whether through (somatic cell nuclear transfer) or in vitro techniques, and states his intention to work with Congress to get this into law."

Federal criminalization of this science will wreck important research into cures for age-related conditions - diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, and many more - and block a greater understanding of biochemical processes. It will drive away the billions in private funding still waiting in the wings. So much damage has been done and time wasted already - hundreds of thousands of people continue to suffer and die each and every day.

It is a good idea to make our opinions known before this goes much further. A sample letter to your elected representatives can be found at the Longevity Meme; I strongly urge to take it as a basis for your own letter. You can find fax information for your representatives at Congress.org - a fax is much more likely to be read than any other form of communication with politicians in the US.


I'm so bloody angry right now upon hearing this, and I have a right to be. Therapeutic cloning has the potential to cure so many illnesses and save millions of lives otherwise lost. Upon hearing about the California initiative and similar interests in other states, Bush's God Squad are getting more desperate every year to criminalize this vital medical technology. Therapeutic cloning and embryonic stem cell research are giving us the chance, finally, to curb diseases that have been with us so long. This research is a gift to mankind, and Bush and Co. just fob it off and call it "unethical". How ungrateful they are.

Posted by: adbatstone at February 8th, 2005 8:38 PM

How dare they?

This is simply unacceptable...

They better not do this, cause I do not tolerate failure, and I'm quite sure I'm not alone. Crimes against humanity, such as this proposed one are worthy of the most severe punishment.

Posted by: Apocalypse at February 9th, 2005 4:49 PM
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