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Lawmakers Consider Human Cloning Ban

Experts on both sides of the embryonic stem cell debate presented their views to a senate committee Monday night, as lawmakers consider a ban on human cloning. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Lawmakers are considering a ban on human cloning that would limit embryonic stem cell research.

Supporters of the ban say cloning techniques used in medical research require the creation and destruction of an embryo.

Wesley Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a non-partisan think tank.

He says he opposes embryonic stem cell research and supports banning it.

Those who oppose the ban say it's not a question of destroying human life but saving it.

Bill Neaves is the President and CEO of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City'He says he opposes the ban.

But those who support the ban say the science doesn't hold up.

They argue that scientists who have done embryonic stem cell research have had little success.

As for religion, one of the bioethicists at Monday's committee hearing testified that the debate goes beyond religion.

Wesley Smith said it's more basic than that'It's about the value of human life.

Opponents of the proposed ban on embryonic stem cell research also had something to say about penicillin, an antibiotic.

Bill Neaves of the Stowers Institute asked lawmakers to consider what would've happened if there had been a ban placed on penicillin when it was first developed.

Those who seek to ban embryonic stem cell research say there's no need for that kind of research since adult stem cells have proven to work medical wonders.

David Prentice is former professor of life sciences at Indiana State University.

Prentice also says it's unlikely that embryonic stem cells will grow the kind of cells needed to replace organs.

But other scientists see enormous potential in embryonic stem cell research., also known as Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.

Bill Neaves, President and CEO of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research it could someday provide cures and treatments for serious diseases.

The proposed ban on human cloning, which would limit embryonic stem cell research is up for a senate committee vote.

It must senate committee approval before it can advance to the senate floor for debate.