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Monday, July 18, 2005

Three Bills Before the U.S. Senate

I received an e-mail from Fiona Swiney which follows. Please contact your U.S. Senators.

There are three major bills coming before the Senate this week.

The first bill is The Human Chimera Prohibition Act of 2005, S1373. This bill would ban the creation of human/animal hybrids (i.e. cross breeding humans and animals at the gamete level) and chimeras (mixing humans and animals at the cellular level). Such research, unless stopped would interfere with the very essence of our humanity, it would blur the line between humans and animals. In China e.g. scientists at the Shangai Second Medical University fused human cells with rabbit eggs in 2003. In Great Britain and also at ACT in Minnesota, cow eggs have successfully been injected with a human nucleus, the Mayo Clinic has pigs with human blood flowing through their veins, and in Stanford University, Irv Weissman has been granted permission to produce a mouse with a full human brain. According to Dr. Patrick Dickson humonkeys are within our capability. Monkeys and humans have 97% of genes in common so if the right 1.6% were transferred from a human to a monkey we could produce a monkey more human than animal. Some medical chimerical activity is ethical and has been successfully used for many years e.g. pig valves are often successfully used to repair faulty heart valves, however when one goes to the reproductive level, one changes the very essence of that species and when one does that at the human level one reduces humanity to the animal level.

The second bill under consideration is S471, a proposal to fund embryonic stem cell research with taxpayer’s money. Embryonic stem cell research can find no funding in the private sector because no cures have been found using human embryos and so the biotechnologists are going after public money with a vengeance. In contrast, ethical, adult stem cell therapy has 56 cures to date. Let's just clarify the difference between destructive embryonic and ethical adult stem cells. An embryo is a newly conceived child. It has all 46 chromosomes necessary to grow into a unique human being. This newly conceived child is destroyed in order to retrieve the embryonic stem cell. Everything else is an ADULT stem cell - umbilical cord blood cells, placenta cells, bone, pancreas, fat, skin etc. Whenever a human being is experimented on, that person should have a reasonable chance of medical improvement as a result of the experiment. No human being should be destroyed for the sole purpose of benefiting another. According to Judy Brown of American Life League "Whether the innocent human being is a few hours old or nine months old, an act that intentionally kills him is always intrinsically evil."

The third bill up for a vote is S658 the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2005 which would ban human cloning. Senator Specter and the biotech industry would like to tell us that there is a difference between reproductive cloning and therapeutic cloning (somatic nuclear transfer). However, the fact of the matter is that first of all a human being is created asexually, and afterwards, depending on whether the clone is placed in a womb or a Petri dish for experimentation, the clone becomes either a reproductive clone or a therapeutic clone. The latter would just make a lab rat of the cloned person, killing him in the early stages of life, using the body as raw materials for experiments.

Those who respect human life are asked to please contact your senators and let them know that:
1. You support The Human Chimera Prohibition Act of 2005 S1373.
2. You oppose The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 S471.
3. You support The Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2005 S658.

Senator Rick Santorum 202-224-6324Senator Arlen Specter 202-224-4254

Fiona Swiney
Thanks for the information Finoa! Sue Cirba

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