Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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Degette Statement In Support Of Banning Reproductive Cloning

Jun 6, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Chief Deputy Whip Diana DeGette (D-CO) today made the following statement in support of H.R. 2560 - the DeGette-Murphy "Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007":

"I rise today in strong support for H.R. 2560, the "Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007."

"Tomorrow, the House will debate S. 5, the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act," to expand the number of stem cell lines that are eligible for federally funded research.  Similar to legislation passed in the House earlier this year (H.R. 3) with overwhelming bipartisan support, the goal of S. 5 is to accelerate scientific progress toward cures and treatments for a wide range of diseases and debilitating health conditions.  When we debated the bill in January, opponents of the bill chose to muddle the debate by offering a motion to recommit involving cloning - a topic unrelated to H.R. 3.  After the debate, a number of my colleagues asked me if we could address the issue of human reproductive cloning.  So, as we prepare to debate embryonic stem cell research tomorrow, I have introduced H.R. 2560 so that we can discuss this important issue.

"Since scientists in Scotland were able to create a cloned sheep named "Dolly" some have speculated about the possibility of one day cloning human beings.  However, we can all agree that there is universal opposition to conducting human reproductive cloning and it should be banned.  Unfortunately, at this time there is no federal law preventing irresponsible individuals from conducting research in an attempt to achieve human reproductive cloning.

"The most effective way to prevent human reproductive cloning in the United States is to pass a federal prohibition on this practice and impose severe penalties for doing so.  That is why I have introduced the "Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007" with my colleague Congressman Chris Murphy.  Our bill would make it illegal to use cloning technology to initiate a pregnancy and thereby create a cloned human being.  The penalties for such an act could include severe criminal sanctions, in addition to as much as $10,000,000 in civil fines.  These strict penalties are necessary to ensure that such an act is prevented from occurring.

"Opponents of our bill to ban human reproductive cloning have sought to characterize it as a much broader bill.  While they make many false claims, the fact of the matter is that our bill is solely a ban on human reproductive cloning - something that all Members of Congress, as well as the vast majority of the American public, support.  The accusations that this bill expressly allows something new are false. 

"I also find it ironic that those who oppose our bill argue that one of its flaws is that it would force all cloned embryos to be killed.  The bill bans human reproductive cloning.  Nothing more, nothing less.  So, the argument of those who say they are against cloning is that we should defeat our bill to prevent cloned embryos from being killed.  It defies logic - just like it defies logic why anyone would vote against this bill.

"Mr. Speaker, I hope today that we can focus on what this bill does - prevent reproductive cloning.  We all agree that the practice should be banned.  Let's pass our bill and make this happen."

The "Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007" would make it illegal to use cloning technology to initiate a pregnancy and thereby create a cloned human being.  The penalties for such an act could include severe criminal sanctions, in addition to $10,000,000 in civil fines.  These strict penalties are necessary to ensure that such an act is prevented from occurring.

Section 1       Short Title: "Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007"

Section 2       Prohibition Against Human Cloning

It shall be unlawful for any person, including a governmental entity, from performing human cloning.  In addition, it shall also be unlawful for any person to ship, mail, transport, or receive the product of human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology knowing that the purpose is for human cloning.

Human cloning is defined as implanting the product of human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology into a uterus or functional equivalent of a uterus.  Somatic cell nuclear transfer means transferring the nuclear material of a human somatic cell into an egg cell from which the nuclear material has been removed or rendered inert.

Those who engage in human cloning will face strict criminal and civil penalties.  Specifically, individuals who violate this law shall be imprisoned for as many as ten years and/or fined in accordance with title 18, U.S. Code.  In addition, individuals who violate the law are liable for civil penalties not to exceed the greater of $10 million or an amount equal to the amount of any gross pecuniary gain derived from such a violation multiplied by two.

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