Background: Cloning is a way of producing a genetic twin of an organism without sexual reproduction. The nuclear material from a cell of an organism's body is introduced into a female reproductive cell (an oocyte) whose nuclear material has been removed or inactivated. When stimulated, the development of a new embryo begins. The cloning techniques used to create human embryos for experimentation and destruction is the same technique used to create human embryos for transfer to the womb and subsequent live birth. In both cases, cloning is wrong and should be banned.
In 2001 and again in 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Human Cloning Prohibition Act, a genuine ban on human cloning. The Senate did not act.
The debate on human cloning is linked to the question of deriving embryonic stem cells from cloned embryos. Bills allowing the creation of human clones for purposes of research and destruction also have been introduced.
Also see section on “Stem Cell Research.”
House: On February 12, 2009, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) introduced the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2009 (H.R. 1050). The bill had 61 cosponsors and was referred to the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. By year’s end, no further action had been taken.
Like similar bills in earlier Congresses, H.R. 1050 makes it unlawful to perform or attempt to perform human cloning; to participate in such an attempt; and to ship, receive, or import the product of human cloning.