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August 2001


Bush Blocks Stem Cell Funding That Would Destroy Embryos


Using his first televised speech to the nation to underscore the importance of the issue, President George W. Bush announced that he would not allow federal funding of stem cell research that would cause human embryos to be destroyed.

In a thoughtful, eloquent 11-minute speech broadcast from his Texas ranch, President Bush said he believes "human life is a sacred gift from our creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your president I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world."


President George W. Bush
acts to protect human embryos.

Leon Kass will head President's
Council on Bioethics.



WASHINGTON (August 3, 2001)--By a large margin, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to prohibit the creation of human embryos by cloning.

The bill, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act (H.R. 2505), was approved by the House on July 31 by a vote of 265-162. (See roll call chart, page 30.)

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) strongly supported the bill, which is sponsored by pro-life Reps. Dave Weldon (R-Fl.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mi.).

Rep. David Weldon (center), with Reps. Brian Kerns (left) and Dennis Kucinich (right) talk to reporters after the ban on human cloning passed the House July 31, 2001 by a vote of 265-162.



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Gunter Franz, Ph.D.


Editor's note: This guest column is by Gunter N. Franz, who has a Ph.D. degree in physiology and biophysics from the University of Washington. He is an associate professor in the Department of Physiology at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia. Gunter Franz is the husband of Wanda Franz, Ph.D., president of NRLC.

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill banning the private and public use of human cloning for any purpose. Opponents to the ban protested that the bill would not only ban reproductive but also "therapeutic" cloning, which is the cloning of a new human being for research, medical, or industrial purposes and then later killing him while he is still in the embryonic stage. And that they found unacceptable--the banning, not the killing.

The pro-cloning lobby consists of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (representing 1,000 or more clients), patients' advocacy groups, celebrities who themselves are suffering from serious diseases or have relatives who do, and "progressives" who fear that giving human beings any respect and protection at the embryonic stage undermines abortion rights.

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