I attended the hearing last night on House File 287 in the House chambers in the statehouse in Des Moines. HF 287 would repeal the state's current ban on cloning, and would allow cloning and killing of human embryos for the purpose of research. As I write this blog, the senate version of the bill (SF 162) is being debated in the House.
There has been much misinformation put out about on this issue by proponents of the bill. Let me try to address some of this misinformation. The false claims are in blue, my responses in black.
Claim: We need this bill in order to allow life-saving embryonic stem cell research.
Truth: Embryonic stem cell research is already allowed in Iowa. Further, no cures have resulted from embryonic stem cell research, while over 70 diseases are being treated with adult stem cells.
Claim: This bill does not allow cloning of human embryos.
Truth: If that were the case, then why would they include in the bill a prohibition on implanting these created cells in the womb of a woman? It is because embryos would be created; anything else would not grow in a woman's womb, thus a prohibition would not be needed. This bill does allow cloning. It repeals our current ban on cloning, and in its place bans only "reproductive cloning", which would supposedly prohibit implantation of a cloned embryo in a woman's womb. However, this ban is unenforcible, as there is no way to prove if a pregnant woman got pregnant naturally, or through the implantation of a cloned embryo.