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Stem Cell Bait & Switch

The pro-embryonic stem cell research lobby insisted that they only wanted to use embryos left over from IVF procedures, embryos that would have been destroyed anyway. Wesley J. Smith exposes the lie behind the promises:

New Jersey. This year New Jersey explicitly legalized the cloning of human embryos through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), the same technology used to make Dolly the sheep. The law casts all moderation aside by failing to prohibit implantation of these cloned embryos into wombs. …

Illinois. Legislation pending in Illinois is just as radical, intending to authorize an almost unlimited license to create natural and cloned embryos for stem-cell research and, like New Jersey, gestate them into fetuses. …

Delaware. Last year’s failed Delaware Senate Bill-55, disingenuously entitled the “Cloning Prohibition and Research Protection Bill,” purported to prohibit human cloning. But this was subterfuge. Yes, the legislation provided that “No person shall create or attempt to create a human being using somatic cell nuclear transfer or other cloning technologies.” But the legislation then defined such cloning to mean, “implanting” a cloned embryo “for gestation and subsequent birth” [emphasis added]. Thus, had the legislation passed, biotechnologists could have created an embryo using SCNT, implanted and gestated it through the ninth month–so long as their purpose in doing so was not the birth of a cloned baby.

California. California’s just passed Proposition 71 appears moderate by comparison. After all, it established a 12-day time limit for maintenance of SCNT cloned embryos that biotechnologists now have a state constitutional right to manufacture. But then again, California’s biotechnologists should not let their hearts be troubled: The authors of Proposition 71 cleverly provided an escape hatch to this seemingly firm restriction by providing that the time period to conduct research “shall initially be 8-12 days after cell division begins” [emphasis added]. The word “initially” clearly implies that time limit will be extended once the billions of dollars of borrowed money that Proposition 71 will pour into SCNT research advances the science to the point that researchers are ready to move beyond experimenting with cloned embryos in Petri dishes.

Do the citizens of these states really understand what’s happening? How much money has Big Biotech spent in these states?

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