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Bill Prohibiting Human Cloning Introduced in Texas

Genetic Crossroads
January 7th, 2001


Republican State Senator Jane Nelson has filed a bill that would prohibit
human cloning in the state of Texas. SB 102 states that "a person may not
clone or attempt to clone a human being." Penalties for violation are
fines up to $10,000 and, where applicable, license suspension.

The bill does not explicitly address embryo cloning, but "does not
restrict scientific research or therapies using cloning technologies
not expressly prohibited by this subchapter." If approved during the
upcoming session, the bill would take effect September 1, 2001 and
expire in September 2005. The full text can be viewed at
<http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlo/77r/billtext/SB00102I.HTM>.

Nelson chairs the Texas Senate Health Committee, which released a report
in August 2000 recommending that all human cloning be prohibited for a
limited time in order to allow for the evaluation of the medical, ethical,
and social implications raised by the possibility of human cloning. The
report also discusses gene therapy, GMOs and xenotransplantation and
provides an overview of genetics-related legislation in other states.
The full report can be viewed at:
<http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c620/c620.htm>.

In her statement accompanying the introduction of the bill, Nelson said,
"The policy questions surrounding the human cloning issue cut to the very
core of our existence as human beings. Personally, I believe our lives
are gifts from God, and that trying to copy a human being is unethical."
According to Nelson's staff, reactions to the bill have been positive.


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