Monday, February 19, 2007

Political Activity in Iowa (embryonic stem cells; death penalty)

I heard on National Public Radio a woman commenting about this proposed bill to repeal bans on human cloning. She said (I paraphrase here), oh, it is not that extreme, because it only allows the creation of embryos for the extraction of their stem cells for RESEARCH purposes... this is not for REPRODUCTIVE purposes... these embryos will not be allowed to become human and be born.

DUH! - when you create a human embryo, you HAVE ALREADY created human life... this is already reproductive human cloning even if the human embryo is destroyed before it is allowed to mature in the womb and be born. Is this just stupidity on some people's part... or is it an intentional attempt to deceive voters? ...

This is the Feb. 18th Iowa Catholic Conference email newsletter:

The priority issue continues to be the bill to repeal Iowa’s ban on cloning.

Senate File 162 – Cloning bill – House contacts critical

The newest development is that there is a public hearing in the Iowa House on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 7 to 10 p.m. regarding the bill, HF 287. It will be held in the Iowa House chamber at the Capitol. Please attend the hearing if you can – a good attendance on our part would be important.

Last week, the bill (SF 162, formerly SF 115) passed the Senate by a single vote, 26-24. All Republicans opposed the bill along with four Democrats; Senators Tom Hancock, Bill Heckroth, Brian Schoenjahn, and Joe Seng. If your Senator opposed the bill please thank them.
Supporters are making the argument that human cloning is not allowed by the bill. This is incorrect. This bill would allow human embryos to be created and then destroyed to extract their stem cells. Just because an embryo isn't allowed to be born doesn't make it less human. We are working to protect human life.

The outcome in the House is in doubt. Please contact your Representative to encourage their opposition to the bill. One Senator said he had received 183 e-mails; only one was in favor of the bill. If you haven’t already, please go to to find out who your representatives are and to send them an e-mail. This could be a very close vote and one of your contacts could make the difference!

Senate File 194 -- Death penalty

A bill to reinstate the death penalty was introduced late last week in the Iowa Senate as SF 194. It would bring back the death penalty for first degree murder, kidnapping and sexual abuse, against a minor. Gov. Culver has indicated he would be open to signing such a bill. In the past, Democratic leadership in the Senate has not been favorable to a death penalty bill. This bears watching and it is never too early to let your Senators know about our opposition to the death penalty.

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