Since the birth of Dolly in February of 1997, the idea of cloning has been in the minds of people all over the world.
Political action was quick to follow this scientific wonder. Clinton declared a ban on all federal funding of human cloning research. Clinton also asked the National Bioethics Advisory Commission for a report in 90 days concerning its recommendations for the public policy regarding the uses of cloning. Nations around the world began to respond the same way as many other countries called for the prohibition of human cloning.
In July of 2001, the House of Representatives voted 265-162 to ban human cloning for any purpose. The Senate, however, was not divided in the same manner. Some feel that the use of embryos for medical research is unethical.
The House banned all human cloning 241-155 in February of this year. The most recent bill bans all cloning for purposes of research and reproduction. A fine of $1 million and a prison sentence of up to 10 years will be given to any violators of this bill.
In response to this bill, those who were opposed proposed a bill that would allow cloning for research purposes only. That bill failed with a vote of 231-174. Lawmakers are divided into two categories: those who are completely against it, and those who support it for research.
President Bush praised lawmakers for approving the measure. “Today’s resounding bipartisan vote in the House demonstrates concern for the profound moral and social issues posed by human cloning,” Bush said.
As the vote goes to the Senate, it will be interesting to see the results. Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist, a heart surgeon from Tennessee, is being watched to see how he will vote on this issue and its importance to the medical community. In the past he has expressed his complete disapproval of any type of human cloning.
Many scientists argue that therapeutic cloning of specific human cells are vital for finding the cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Some lawmakers agree and have introduced a bill that would ban any efforts to produce human clones but would permit somatic cell nuclear transplantation, the type of cloning used in the creation of Dolly in Scotland.
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