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Capitol Health Call
March 5, 2003

Dueling Cloning Bills Return

JAMA. 2003;289(9):1093. doi:10.1001/jama.289.9.1093-a

Last fall, the Senate failed to pass legislation restricting human cloning, whether for research or reproduction. Legislators have again taken up the issue, and again it has created a deep divide over stem cell research.

The Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003, introduced by Sen Sam Brownback (R-Kan) and 25 cosponsors, would outlaw reproductive cloning as well as research involving human oocytes.

A competing bill, introduced by Sen Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), prohibits reproductive cloning but encourages research on unfertilized eggs that undergo parthenogenesis, the process whereby an egg develops without fertilization. In cloning, researchers remove the nucleus of an oocyte and replace it with the nucleus of a somatic cell (such as a skin cell) donated by the individual to be cloned.

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