all enacted measures to prohibit reproductive cloning.43 Arizona and Missouri have passed laws that address the use of public funds for cloning. In addition, Louisiana has enacted legislation prohibiting reproductive cloning but the law expired in July 2003. Six of the states also prohibit cloning for research or therapeutic purposes (Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota). The Virginia law may also prohibit therapeutic cloning, “but it may be unclear because the law does not define the term ‘human being’ which is used in the definition of human cloning.”44 The California and New Jersey laws specifically permit cloning for research purposes. The Rhode Island law is silent on therapeutic cloning and cloning for research purposes, and has a sunset date of July 7, 2010.
The 109th Congress addressed the issue of cloning and embryo research in the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-149) by again including the Dickey Amendment, which has banned, since FY1996, almost all publically funded human embryo research. In addition, the Science, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-108) bars the Patent and Trademark Office from spending money “to issue patents on claims directed to or encompassing a human organism.” This restriction, which was first included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004 (P.L. 108-199), and in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (P.L. 108-447), could potentially deter human embryo research and stem cell research because researchers might not be able to claim ownership of their work.
H.R. 810 (Castle), the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, passed the House on May 24, 2005, on a vote of 238-194. It would amend the Public Health Service Act and direct the Secretary of HHS to conduct and support research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo. Stem cell lines derived after enactment must meet ethical guidelines established by the NIH. Only embryos that were originally created for fertility treatment purposes and in excess of clinical need are eligible for stem cell derivation. Only embryos that the individuals seeking fertility treatments have determined will not be implanted in a woman and will be discarded are eligible for stem cell derivation. Written consent is required for embryo donation. The Secretary in consultation with the Director of NIH shall promulgate guidelines 60 days after enactment. No federal funds shall be used to conduct research on unapproved stem cell lines. The Secretary shall annually report to Congress about stem cell research. A companion bill, S. 471 (Specter), was introduced on February 28, 2005.
On June 29, 2006, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced an agreement on scheduling a vote in the Senate on stem cell research legislation, more than a year after the House passed H.R. 810. Under the agreement, amendments were not allowed on a package of three bills; each needed 60 votes to pass: H.R. 810, S. 2754 (Santorum) the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act, and S. 3504 (Santorum) the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act. S. 3504 does not address the
43 National Conference of State Legislatures, State Human Cloning Laws, July 17, 2006, at [http://www.ncsl.org/programs/health/genetics/rt-shcl.htm].