This bit of good news escaped me until this weekend: Arizona has passed two laws that impact the debates over human cloning and embryonic stem cells. The first, 35-196.04, prohibits the use of any public monies for human cloning. And, unlike phony bans so often seen at the state and federal level, the Arizona law uses a scientifically accurate definitions of the term, e.g., “human somatic cell nuclear transfer, commonly known as human cloning.”

SCNT is accurately defined, too, to wit: “For the purposes of this section, “human somatic cell nuclear transfer” means human asexual reproduction that is accomplished by introducing the genetic material from one or more human somatic cells into a fertilized or unfertilized oocyte whose nuclear material has been removed or inactivated so as to produce an organism, at any stage of development, that is genetically virtually identical to an existing or previously existing human organism.”

I emphasized the words “to produce an organism” because that is what cloning does. It doesn’t produce a baby. It isn’t the act of implantation. It isn’t the creation of stem cells. It produces a new human organism. After that, there is no more cloning. The only question is what to do with the organism that was created.

The second law, 41-1518, prevents business that engage in human cloning or embryonic stem cell research from receiving tax credits available to other businesses.

The key message being communicated by Arizona passing these laws is that using human life as a harvestable crop is immoral.

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