"There are already 60 countries in the world that have laws on their books banning human reproductive cloning, and this prohibition is also in a number of international agreements" says Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the , which is devoted to the responsible use of new genetic and reproductive technologies. "But in the U.S., we have not managed to put such a law on the books at the federal level."
At least 15 states ban cloning, either for reproductive purposes or research, or, in come cases both, according to the
But Congress has mostly fought issues of both and to a draw.
"What we saw the last time cloning was in the headlines was that the discussion really got mired in the abortion controversy," Darnovsky said.
The House passed bills banning all forms of cloning in 2001 and 2003; the Senate failed to act in both cases.
"All the other issues got completely swamped," she said. "And I really hope that doesn't happen this time."
But both the issue of cloning — for research and reproduction — and embryonic stem cell research have been mired in the abortion controversy from the start.
I agree we need ethical and consistent guidelines for stem cell research, especially those cloned from human embryos. But the last people who should be writing these guidelines are House Republicans who believe the earth is only 6,000 years old and believe these non-viable blobs of cells have the same legal rights as live human beings.
I'm of the mind that the Senate needs to get out in front of this and gets a piece of legislation out that does this responsibly before the anti-science nutjobs attach a "personhood and cloning bill" to the next debt ceiling crisis.