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Press Room


Governor Declares Wisconsin OPEN for Human Cloning

Saturday, December 03, 2005


State Office, P. O. Box 221

Brookfield, WI  53008




November 3, 2005


Contact:  Marc Tuttle, Communications Director or Matt Sande, Director of Legislative Affairs

                (262) 796-1111, cell: (262) 352-0890


Governor Declares Wisconsin OPEN for Human Cloning

Madison - Governor Doyle today vetoed legislation that would have prohibited all forms of human cloning in Wisconsin.  Assembly Bill 499 would ban both "reproductive cloning" - where a cloned person is brought to birth, and "therapeutic cloning" - where a cloned person is killed in the course of scientific experimentation.  The states of Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota all have comprehensive laws banning human cloning.

"It's outrageous that our Governor would veto a ban on the destructive and dehumanizing practice of human cloning," said Peggy Hamill, Pro-Life Wisconsin's state director.  "Governor Doyle is effectively holding the door wide open for unscrupulous scientists to clone human beings in our state - to create life for the express purpose of killing it.  This is a real black mark on the State of Wisconsin - most of our Midwestern neighbors have had the good sense to outlaw this procedure."

Dr. Panos Zavos, a fertility specialist currently operating in Kentucky, has made several attempts in the past few years to implant cloned human embryos in order to bring human clones to term.   More recently, a team of researchers from the University of Newcastle in the UK boasted last spring that they had successfully cloned human embryos.  

Authored by Representative Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) and Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan), AB 499 prohibits somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT, which is the scientific name for the human cloning process. 

 "The public should know what the comprehensive human cloning ban would do and not do," said Matt Sande, Pro-Life Wisconsin's director of legislative affairs.   "The bill would not hinder medical research in Wisconsin by obstructing stem cell research, despite the Governor's claims to the contrary.  Assembly Bill 499 allows animal cloning, tissue cloning, molecular DNA cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and adult stem cell research - an ethical and effective alternative.  How is this seen as stifling research?  Just what research does the Governor have in mind?"

AB 499 would not prohibit embryonic stem cell research, although Pro-Life Wisconsin condemns the destruction of in vitro human embryos for their stem cells.  Ethically unproblematic adult stem cells, however, have helped hundreds of thousands of patients, and new clinical uses are discovered almost weekly.  Adult stem cells have already been used to treat cancers, restore vision, repair spinal cords, and treat juvenile diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

"Pro-Life Wisconsin wants to see research move forward in the hopes of discovering treatments for disease, and we can move forward ethically so long as we do not create life simply to kill it for the benefit of others," said Hamill.  "Wisconsinites deserve the assurance that their state can build on its lead in biotechnology without compromising its bioethics.  We can do so by focusing our talent, creativity, energy and resources on clinically proven, ethically uncontroversial adult stem cell research."