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Monday, June 11, 2007

A Major Change in the House

A major change will be proposed in the House—a change which will force the bill to be taken up by the Senate again—which gives us another chance to get that 67th vote, the magic veto over-ride majority, two thirds plus one.

The change? A ban on reproductive cloning…

Reproductive cloning is already illegal two times in California—first prohibited in legislation by Senator Deborah Ortiz and secondly banned in the California Constitution itself, language criminalizing it put there by Proposition 71—and nobody wants it anyway.

Here is one thing every scientist, every politician, every citizen blessed with sanity can agree on.

Nobody wants this—except the enemies of research—who want to keep the issue of reproductive cloning alive as a way to scare people. Reproductive cloning is the bizarre science fiction possibility of multiplying babies through the Dolly the sheep methodology. Not only would this accomplish no useful purpose (we can make plenty babies other ways!) but it would put the life of both mother and child at risk.

The opposition must no longer be allowed to use the fantasy fears of reproductive cloning as a way to block responsible stem cell research.

We cannot let them control the terms of the debate. As long as we let the opposition to lump together the realistic with the ridiculous, that long will they be able to block the research we must have.

We must separate the fantasy fear of reproductive cloning from the helpful hope of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.

Remember SCNT? The stem cell support community has been working so hard to pass the very cautious Stem Cell Research Act that we have almost stopped talking about what we must have to make cures happen.

But the needs of the research must not be defined by the current administration’s myopia. Longer-sighted people must prevail.

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) is the single most important advance for all who suffer chronic illness and injury.

Patient-specific cell lines, which cannot be rejected by the patient’s body because they are part of his or her body—that’s only half the possibility—think also of the disease-specific cell lines that will lower medical costs by allowing scientists to study diseases in a Petri dish instead of the patient.

But to get there, we must defeat the scare tactics of the ideologues.

If we can remove the imaginary threat of reproductive cloning as an issue, their biggest bugaboo, their scariest imaginary Weapon of Mass Deception will be gone.

They know this, and we can expect them to fight very hard against a ban on reproductive cloning. They want to ban SCNT too.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"They want to ban SCNT too."

That's because somatic cell nuclear transfer is the same thing as cloning. We're full aware that you don't intend to allow cloned human beings to roam the earth. No, what you wish to do is far worse: create new, embryonic human beings for the express purpose of killing them for medical research. You seem to think that explaining this to people will mollify them somehow, when, in reality, most Americans are opposed to ALL forms of cloning, whether to implant in a womb or to destroy for research. In other words, you think the problem is that people don't understand your plans, but your actual problem is that we do.