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Feb. 14, 2003
The Weldon-Stupak cloning ban **(H.R. 534) 
passed the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 12, 2003. Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), deserves credit for doing heavy lifting to make this happen in a timely manner. The bill is expected to go to the floor of the House by February 24th at the earliest but possibly the first or second week of March.

The final vote was a partisan 19-12 for passage, and two amendments were each defeated by a 12-19 vote. The amendments would have turned the bill into a clone-and-kill bill that would have allowed cloned embryos to be created in large quantities for the purpose of destruction and research.

Now is the time to be contacting Members of the House of Representatives to make sure we have the votes to:

  • PASS the Rule to allow the bill to come up,  
  • DEFEAT the substitute clone and kill amendment which will probably once again be offered by Congressman Greenwood (R-PA),  
  • DEFEAT any motion to send the bill back to committee so that it would not pass, and  
  • PASS the bill.
Members will be in their districts for Washington’s Birthday "Presidents Day" work next week. Please plan to visit your representatives to let them know you expect them to vote for the Weldon-Stupak Cloning Ban Act (H.R. 534) when they return to Washington to vote on it.

** NOTE OF CLARIFICATION: 
Last week, FaxNotes reported that the Weldon-Stupak bill number was H.R. 234 and that a prohibition on importation into the United States of products derived from human clones had been removed from the bill. Since that time, the prohibition has been restored and Congressman Weldon reintroduced the bill with the new number, H.R. 534. The prohibition is included in the Brownback-Landrieu Senate version as well.


New Jersey Assembly Rejects "Clone-and-Kill" Bill 
On February 10, legislators pulled a bill that would expressly create a "cloning industry" in New Jersey. The bill passed the Senate previously on December 16, 2002 with 25 yes votes and 15 abstentions.

"This legislation authorizes ghoulish research where cloned human beings would be harvested for use of their body parts in the embryonic and fetal stages of development," said Marie Tasy, New Jersey Right to Life Public and Legislative Affairs Director. Mrs. Tasy said the legislation was riddled with fatal defects and loopholes that would actually advance, not ban, reproductive cloning as it was purported to do. "The consequences of the bill are devastating and would make New Jersey a magnet for rogue scientists, cloning labs and human embryo and human fetal farms in the Garden State."

"It is shameful that the New Jersey Senate and the McGreevey administration moved this legislation at break-neck speed," said Tasy. "Sponsors politicized the issue by bringing in Hollywood actor Christopher Reeve in the hope of obscuring the truth that the weight of evidence for curing illnesses is not found in embryonic stem cells, but rather in adult stem cells," said Tasy. She further explained that the techniques covered in this bill would exploit women by subjecting them to undergo invasive procedures and require use of superovulatory drugs, which carry many risks. "It would lead to the commercialization of women’s eggs and wombs and pose serious health risks to the lives of children created through cloning procedures." (NJRTL Press Release, 2/10/03)


Republican National
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