Wisconsin’s Assembly Children and Families Committee voted yesterday to approve legislation that would ban the cloning of human embryos.
A day earlier, the Assembly committee, along with the Senate Judiciary, Corrections and Privacy Committee, held a joint hearing on identical cloning ban bills (AB 449/SB 243), authored by Rep. Steve Kestell (R—Elkhart Lake) and Sen. Joe Leibham (R—Sheboygan).
Wisconsin Right to Life lauded the committee hearings and is looking forward to the passage of the bill. "The cloning of human embryos in Wisconsin for any purpose should be soundly rejected,” said Susan Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life.
Dr. Jean Peduzzi of the Wayne State University Medical School provided the key expert testimony in support of the Kestell/Leibham legislation. She presented research in favor of adult stem cells in the treatment of chronic, severe spinal cord injury.
She pointed out that embryonic stem-cell research has not shown any positive results. However, adult stem cells have been successfully used to treat over 58 conditions, including brain and other cancers, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, sickle cell anemia, stroke, limb gangrene, corneal regeneration, heart damage, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injury.
“With the tremendous successes of adult stem cells and the complete lack of success using embryonic stem cells, it behooves the State of Wisconsin to prohibit research that is both unethical and unsuccessful," said Armacost.