Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Brave New World in the Garden State

On Monday, a bill surreptitiously allowing human cloning passed the New Jersey Assembly. It had already passed the state senate with the encouragement of the governor.

The bill, ostensibly about stem-cell research and with a paragraph explicitly prohibiting cloning, really only prohibits the birth of a cloned human being. It does not disallow "SCNT" (somatic cell nuclear transfer). This means that it could be legal in New Jersey, according to Wesley J. Smith, to "implant cloned human embryos into wombs, gestate them for up to nine months, and then destroy them for use in research."

It should be noted that the bill was sponsored exclusively by Democrats, begging the question of whether it's legitimate to say that the GOP is the party of corporate America -- in this case the drug industry, two of whose giants (Merck and Johnson & Johnson) are headquartered in the Garden State and nearly all of whose major players have significant operations in the state.


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