A third cloning bill has been introduced to the US Senate, where senators are currently considering whether to ban human cloning in its entirety, or allow cloning technology to be allowed for therapeutic purposes, but not to produce a baby.
The new bill, introduced by Senator Byron Dorgan, would ban reproductive cloning but 'remains silent' about therapeutic cloning. A spokesman for the senator said that it was designed to 'prevent the therapeutic procedure from being used to produce the first cloned infant'. He added 'everyone believes cloning a human should be illegal. So, let's close that door right now, and then let's come to a sensible agreement about the other issues'.
The US National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is campaigning against the new bill, saying it 'would leave the door open to human cloning', because the language of the bill 'could allow a cloned embryo to be implanted in a uterus and grown into a fetus for experimentation'. Dorgan has called the NRLC claim 'absurd'.
Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader Tom Daschle has said that the official Senate debate and vote on cloning and stem cell research, which was scheduled to take place before the US Memorial Day congressional recess, will be delayed. Daschle said that too much time had been spent on other issues and that he thought 'we're probably going to have to pick up where we left off on stem cell research sometime after we get back'.