SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

NEW DIMENSIONS OF DECEPTION IN WA CLONING BILL. Yesterday the Senate Labor, Commerce, Research & Development Committee conducted an executive session, which included action on SB 5594—the grossly misleading stealth cloning bill.

This is the bill that pretends to outlaw cloning, but then re-defines it so as to even allow for human cloning right up until the moment of birth. At that point, all of the cloned human life that has been grown is targeted for mandated destruction.

Now a handful of state senators, demonstrating all the statesmanship of totally unwitting dupes—or the YES men and women of human cloning proponents—have added a new twist: the bill purports to outlaw the horrible practice of “reproductive” human cloning while permitting “therapeutic” cloning.

This is a distinction without a difference.

In the staff briefing for the committee, committee coordinator Jennifer Straus briefly discussed the proposed amendment to the bill—which she said would basically insert the word “reproductive” before the word “cloning” in the bill’s text.

This amendment changes NOTHING about the bill. Wesley J. Smith explains things in a recent article analyzing this legislation:

If the cloned human organism is to be experimented upon and destroyed, the process is often called "therapeutic cloning." If it is to be brought to birth, the process is usually called "reproductive cloning." But it is important to understand these are not different types of cloning. They are different uses for the cloned human lives created via cloning.

Both the bill’s sponsor—Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D) and co-sponsor Sen. Rosa Franklin (D) stated that the amendment would “clarify” the meaning of the bill.

If anything, the bill should give increased confidence to cloning proponents who don’t want to see ANY sort of ethical limits placed upon their ability to clone human life for the purposes of destroying it and harvesting it.

Sen. Pallette (R) asked where the additional language comprising the amendment language was arrived at. Straus stated that it came from the University of Washington Medical School, apparently in response to questions as to whether it would really prohibit reproductive cloning.

Sen. Franklin then commented on the amendment:

…it does clarify, because…I am opposed to human cloning, and there is a difference between reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning. And so this clarifies the difference.

To the contrary, I will quote Smith again:

…these are not different types of cloning. They are different uses for the cloned human lives created via cloning.

Sen. Kohl-Wells went on to praise Sen. Franklin for being “…so much of an articulate spokesperson in opposition to reproductive cloning.”

There was nothing articulate about that portion of the executive committee session. Nothing. You can listen in for yourself via TVW here. (Discussion lasts approximately five minutes, beginning 1:36:45 into the February 28 hearing.)

The amendments were incorporated to a substitute bill—SSB 5594—which passed without objection. The bill will proceed to the Senate Rules Committee.

All of this goes to show that the legislators have a poor grasp of the issues involved. They’ve become lost in the terminology shell game, with human cloning proponents leading them along. That or they’re playing dumb…

In addition, there is currently underway a House Appropriations hearing today on HB 1268, concerning the regulation of stem cell research. That bill likewise contains duplicitous language about banning cloning AND the phony baloney therapeutic/reproductive cloning distinction. (See here for more.)

(Downtown Seattle, WA)


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