Skip to comments.Renewed push for NJ Clone & Kill Bill, A2840/S1909. Immediate Action Needed!!!
Posted on 10/12/2003 7:47:10 PM PDT by Coleus
New Jersey Right to Life
|Renewed push for NJ Clone & Kill Bill, A2840/S1909. Immediate Action Needed!!!|
Assemblyman NEIL M. COHEN
Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen, Democrat
District Office: 985 Stuyvesant Ave., Union, NJ 07083 (908)-624-0880
Assemblyman JOHN F. MCKEON, J.D. Seton Hall University
District 20 (Union) Assemblyman John F. McKeon, Democrat
District Office: 4 Sloan St., Suite D & E, South
Orange, NJ 07079 (973)-275-1113
District 27 (Essex)
Assemblyman MIMS HACKETT, JR.
Assemblyman Mims Hackett, Democrat
District Office: 15 Village Plaza, Suite 1B, South Orange, NJ 07079 (973)-762-1886
District 27 (Essex)
Assemblywoman JOAN M. QUIGLEY
Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley, Democrat
District Office: The Hamilton Park Foundry, 242 10th St., Suite 101 , Jersey City, NJ 07302 (201)-217-4614
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson) Co-Sponsored by:
Assemblyman Gary L. Guear, Democrat
District Office: 1700 Whitehorse-Hamilton Square Rd., Unit C-4, Hamilton, NJ 08690 609-587-4644
and Assemblywoman Weinberg
Assemblywoman Loretta Weinberg, Democrat
District Office: 545 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666 (201)-928-0100
Assembly Speaker Sires allowes all bills out of Committee on which to be voted Albio Sires, Democrat District Office: 303 58th Street, West New York, NJ 07093 201-854-0900
By MARIE TASY
The Times' story covering a panel discussion on stem-cell research and its subsequent editorial advocating passage of S-1909/A-2840 had a number of important omissions and inaccuracies. Curiously, absent from The Times' coverage was any mention of three women, including me, who participated in the panel discussion, which leads one to wonder whether the editors of The Times, for all their championing of women's rights, actually believes that women's voices should be heard in this debate (``Stem cell research debated,'' Oct. 11). It's also sad that The Times could not present its view without resorting to name-calling.
The Times failed to mention important issues covered during the panel discussion, which include, but are not limited to, the uncontested fact that human embryonic stem cells have never been used successfully in clinical trials in humans and carry significant risks, including immune rejection and tumor formation.
Also omitted was the fact that there are myriad studies documenting cases where adult stem cells using umbilical cord blood, placenta, amniotic fluid, neural, muscle, fat and skin cells have shown great advances in curing diseases and illnesses that include Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. A study published in the Jan. 23, 2002, New Scientist reports on research conducted at the University of Minnesota showing that stem cells taken from adult bone marrow have the ability to proliferate extensively in culture and form virtually any tissue in the body _ properties once claimed exclusively for embryonic stem cells.
Another important point raised during the panel discussion, but not covered, was the concern that cloning techniques will lead to a new exploitation of women, subjecting them to undergo invasive procedures and use superovulatory drugs that increase their risk of developing cancer, as well as early osteoporosis. Even the scientists involved in the research are admitting that it would take ``thousands of human eggs on an assembly line'' to produce custom therapy for a single person. Thomas Okarma, chief executive of Geron Corp, a cell therapy company, said of therapeutic cloning, the odds favoring success ``are vanishingly small'' (``Clone Profit? Unlikely,'' May 10, 2002). The New York Times echoed that sentiment saying that research using embryonic stem cells and therapeutic cloning using artificially manufactured cloned human embryos is not even close to being perfected, let alone yielding cures (``The Promise of Therapeutic Cloning,'' Jan. 5).
The Times' editorial (``Time to pass the stem-cell bill,'' Oct. 14), erroneously stated that a N.J. bill (A-2840/S-1909) authorizing embryonic stem- cell research is identical to a California bill passed last year. The California bill has a 14-day limit on maintaining embryos for research. The N.J. bill has no such limit. In fact, the N.J. bill explicitly authorizes the artificial creation of human embryos through cloning (somatic cell nuclear transplantation) and experimentation up until birth. That is because cloning is defined in the proposed legislation very broadly _ the prohibited conduct is drawn at the ``newborn stages.'' In addition, while the bill makes it illegal to buy or sell embryonic or fetal tissue for profit, it allows ``reasonable payment'' for embryonic or cadaveric fetal tissue production, implantation, transplantation and preservation costs. This would authorize a commercial market in the sale of baby parts. To say the bill is extreme is an understatement.
Moreover, The Times wrongly assumed we declined to ``consistently'' answer what it calls one ``key question'' regarding the ``logic and human dignity in routine discarding of embryos created in fertility clinics.'' This question was addressed in a conversation I had with The Times' reporter after the panel discussion. Apparently, either she or the editors of The Times, decided not to print my response. One proposed solution to this dilemma is to enact regulations that would restrict the number of fertilized eggs manufactured in fertility clinics. A life-affirming alternative to the discarding of leftover embryos is already being employed by an entity known as Snowflake Adoption, which allows couples to adopt frozen embryos from fertility clinics and have them implanted and grown to term. Surely, this is an ethical alternative to Wise Young's ``trash it or use it'' philosophy.
The Times states that human embryos are not the equivalent of ``real, here- and-now human beings,'' but ``microscopic clusters of insenate cells.'' The truth of the matter is that we are all made up of microscopic clusters of cells. We were all once embryos at one stage in our lives, just as we once were or will become infants, toddlers, adolescents, adults and senior citizens. Nevertheless, we are all members of the human family. It is an undisputed fact that stem-cell research performed on human embryos results in the death of the human embryo. That a human embryo is a human being can be found in any standard textbook on embryology or standard medical dictionary. The crux of the issue is whether a human embryo, who by virtue of his/her humanity, has the right not to be killed or harmed in any way.
If the N.J. bill moves forward, it will set New Jersey on an irresponsible, unprecedented and morally disastrous course fraught with devastating consequences for humanity. Adult stem cells that are already curing people and do not have any of the ethical or practical problems associated with their use are the future of life science and humanity's hope for the future. That is where we should place our collective focus and resources.
NOTE: Marie Tasy is public and legislative affairs director, New Jersey Right to Life.
For seven months, a bill that would authorize and facilitate embryonic stem- cell research in New Jersey has awaited action in the state Assembly, blocked by a campaign of disinformation waged by the extreme pro-life lobby. Now, Assembly Democratic leaders say they plan to call the bill for a vote after the Nov. 4 election. To say it's about time would be an understatement.
Cellular biologists believe that stem cells, which can turn into various body tissues, could be the key to treatments for diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and diabetes, as well as neurological injuries. The stem cells would come from embryos slated to be discarded by fertility clinics, or could be developed from the patient's own tissue to ensure compatibility. Because New Jersey is home to a large and effective medical research establishment, enactment of the measure in this state would be particularly helpful.
But pro-lifers oppose such research, out of the belief that the microscopic clusters of insenate cells used in the research are the moral equal of real, here-and-now human beings and should not be used to alleviate those individuals' suffering. The opponents saw their opening last March when The Washington Post's arch-conservative commentator, Robert Novak, wrote a column asserting that New Jersey was ``moving at breakneck speed'' toward the legalization of human cloning via the stem-cell bill, which the Senate previously had passed, and singling out for special scorn the Republicans who supported it. The claim was entirely false, in that the measure specifically and for the first time would make cloning ``a crime of the first degree.'' Nevertheless, the column led to what The Star-Ledger called ``a blizzard of e- mail messages'' to the Legislature, many of them from people and groups that opposed the research in the first place. Many members of the Assembly suffered an attack of cold feet, and suddenly the bill was nine votes short of a majority. Its sponsor, Assemblyman Neil Cohen, D-New Roselle, withdrew it to conduct what he called an ``educational campaign'' among his colleagues to try to undo some of the damage wrought by Mr. Novak's column and those who exploited it.
Assemblyman Cohen's bill and its Senate counterpart, sponsored by Senate co- president, Richard J. Codey, D-West Orange, would allow researchers to work with newly cultivated stem-cell lines taken from unused embryos at New Jersey fertility clinics. Like a California law on which it is modeled, it would require the owners of the cells to give their written permission, and would allow no monetary compensation.
In a panel discussion on stem-cell research co-sponsored by The Times and held at Mercer County Community College last week, Dr. Wise Young of Rutgers, an expert on the subject, asserted that stem-cell biology is ``the future of life sciences'' and that preventing research ``has held back science.'' He posed a key question, one that the opponents of the pending legislation have consistently declined to address: Where is the logic and the human dignity in the routine discarding of embryos that are created for in vitro fertilization but not needed? ``I think it is more dignified to use them to save lives,'' Dr. Young said.
The Cohen-Codey bill would allow and encourage that outcome. The Assembly should approve it and send it to Gov. James E. McGreevey for his promised signature.
|State Bill - Renewed Push for A2840/S1909 NJ Clone Kill Bill||
|Immediate Action Needed!!|
|Assembly sponsorNeil M. Cohen is trying to get S1909/A2840 through the Assembly in lame duck session. The vote on this bill can be scheduled anytime in the Assembly between the period December 15, 2003 and January 13, 2004. Please take immediate action after reading the items below.
PLEASE NOTE: THE FEDERAL BILL SUPPORTED BY SENATOR ORRIN HATCH AND FORMER FIRST LADY NANCY REAGAN IS NOT IDENTICAL TO THE NJ BILL! IN FACT, THE NJ BILL GOES WAY BEYOND THE MEASURE SUPPORTED BY SENATOR ORRIN HATCH.
If you do not know the names and phone numbers of your legislators, you can call the Office of Legislative Services at 1-800-792-8630 or you can go the top of this page and click on "Take Action!" then "home" then "NJ Legislature", enter your zip code in the specified location to obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of your state legislators. You can email your legislators directly from this page by going to the box that says "Take Action Now" and then fill in your required zip code.
For your friends without Computers they can thistoll-free number: 800-792-8630 to get their legislator information if they don't know it.
Click here to read this correspondence.
Submitted by : Assemblyman Samuel D. Thompson, Ph.D.
Testimony presented to the committee raises numerous questions regarding:
Sponsors of the bill and Assembly Leadership:
Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen, Democrat
NJ Assembly RollCall Stem Cells, 1st Ld-Writethru
12/15/2003, 8:50 p.m. ET (AP) The Assembly voted 41-31 with seven abstentions Monday to approve a bill that supports stem cell research. "Y" is yes, "N" is no, "X" is no vote.
Ahearn, Matt, I-Bergen Y
Altamuro, Stephen, R-Gloucester N
Arnone, Michael J., R-Monmouth N
Asselta, Nicholas, R-Cumberland N
Azzolina, Joseph, R-Monmouth X
Barnes, Peter J., D-Middlesex Y
Bateman, Christopher, R-Somerset X
Biondi, Peter, R-Somerset N
Blee, Frank, R-Atlantic N
Bodine, Francis L., R-Burlington N
Bramnick, Jon, R-Union, N
Burzichelli, John J., D-Gloucester Y
Caraballo, Wilfredo, D-Essex Y
Carroll, Michael P., R-Morris N
Chatzidakis, Larry, R-Burlington N
Chivukula, Upendra J., D-Somerset Y
Cohen, Neil M., D-Union Y
Conaway, Herbert, D-Burlington Y
Conners, Jack, D-Camden Y
Connors, Christopher J., R-Ocean N
Conover, Kirk, R-Atlantic N
Corodemus, Steve, R-Monmouth N
Cruz-Perez, Nilsa, D-Camden Y
Cryan, Joseph, D-Union Y
Dancer, Ronald, R-Ocean N
DeCroce, Alex, R-Morris N
Diegnan, Patrick J., D-Middlesex N
DiGaetano, Paul, R-Passaic N
Doherty, Michael J., R-Warren N
Doria, Joseph V., D-Hudson Y
Eagler, Peter C., D-Passaic Y
Edwards, Willis, D-Essex Y
Egan, Joseph V., D-Middlesex Y
Farragher, Clare M., R-Monmouth N
Fisher, Douglas H., D-Cumberland Y
Fraguela, Rafael J., R-Hudson Y
Friscia, Arline M., R-Middlesex X
Green, Jerry, D-Union Y
Greenstein, Linda, D-Middlesex Y
Greenwald, Louis D., D-Camden Y
Gregg, Guy, R-Morris N
Guear, Gary L., D-Mercer Y
Gusciora, W. Reed, D-Mercer Y
Hackett, Mims, D-Essex Y
Heck, Rose M., R-Bergen N
Holzapfel, James W., R-Ocean X
Impreveduto, Anthony, D-Hudson Y
Johnson, Gordon M., D-Bergen Y
Kean, Sean, R-Monmouth N
Malone, Joseph, R-Burlington X
McKeon, John F., D-Essex Y
McHose, Alison, R-Sussex N
Merkt, Richard, R-Morris N
Munoz, Eric, R-Union N
Myers, Connie, R-Hunterdon N
O'Toole, Kevin, R-Essex N
Payne, William, D-Essex Y
Pennacchio, Joseph, R-Morris N
Perez-Cinciarelli, Elba, D-Hudson Y
Pou, Nellie, D-Passaic Y
Previte, Mary, D-Camden X
Quigley, Joan, D-Hudson Y
Roberts, Joseph J., D-Camden Y
Rooney, John E., R-Bergen N
Rumpf, Brian, R-Ocean N
Russo, David C., R-Bergen N
Scalera, Frederick, D-Bergen Y
Sires, Albio, D-Hudson Y
Smith, Robert J., D-Gloucester Y
Stanley, Craig, D-Essex Y
Steele, Rev. Alfred, D-Passaic N
Stender, Linda, D-Union Y
Thompson, Sam, R-Monmouth X
Tucker, Donald, D-Essex Y
Van Drew, Jeff, D-Cape May Y
Vandervalk, Charlotte, R-Bergen X
Watson-Coleman, Bonnie, D-Mercer Y
Weinberg, Loretta, D-Bergen Y
Wisniewski, John S., D-Middlesex Y
Wolfe, David W., R-Ocean N
Note: Assembly 44D, 36R
Overrides: two-thirds or 54 votes.
Amendments: three-fifths or 48 votes.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
BY ROBERT SCHWANEBERG
Supporters said it could lead to a cure for diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's and other diseases. Opponents warned it would permit "ghoulish" fetus farms in which genetically designed humans were bred solely to be slaughtered for their organs.
In the end, a bill making New Jersey the second state to officially encourage medical research using embryonic stem cells passed the Assembly yesterday by a single vote. Passage came despite opposition by the state's Catholic bishops and anti-abortion activists. It also flew in the face of President Bush's sharp restriction of embryonic stem cell research.
The bill now goes to Gov. James E. McGreevey, who said last night, "I look forward to signing it into law."
Thirty-nine Democrats were joined by Assemblymen Rafael Fraguela (R-Hudson) and Matt Ahearn (Green Party-Bergen) in mustering the 41 votes needed to pass the bill in the 80-member Assembly. The vote followed an emotional 45-minute debate.
Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union), a sponsor who went desk to desk, cajoling wavering colleagues during the 10 minutes the voting board was kept open, said securing the bill's passage "will be the most significant thing I do in my life."
In an impassioned speech, Cohen said embryonic stem cell research holds the promise of eventual cures for the millions of Americans afflicted by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, paralysis and other ailments. He told his fellow lawmakers the proposal was "the most significant law we'll pass this century."
The bill's main sponsor, Senate Co-President Richard Codey (D-Essex), called its passage "a fantastic opportunity for New Jersey to show the rest of the world we intend to promote medical progress rather than stifle it."
The passage came 12 months after the Senate approved the bill. Following yesterday's vote, Assembly Republican leader Alex DeCroce (R-Morris) booted Fraguela out of the GOP caucus for breaking ranks with the party.
Marie Tasy, director of public and legislative affairs for New Jersey Right to Life, said that if McGreevey signs the bill, "we'll have the shameful distinction of being the cloning capital of the world."
The bill makes it a crime punishable by 20 years in prison to clone a human being, but opponents said that provision bans only the actual birth of a living human clone.
Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Warren) said a cloned embryo could be carried in a womb "almost completely to birth" and killed "to take its body parts" without violating the bill. Right to Life ran radio advertisements yesterday warning of "ghoulish" fetal farms.
Addressing that charge, Cohen told fellow lawmakers it was "an absurdity" to think either he or the bill would allow "fetal farming," adding that anyone who implanted a cloned embryo into a womb would face criminal prosecution for attempted cloning. He said any embryo used in stem cell research would "stay in the petri dish."
New Jersey's Catholic bishops opposed the bill because the only way to obtain embryonic stem cells, they said, "is to kill the living human embryo."
"We believe it is more important than ever to stand for the principle that government must not treat any living human being as research material, as a mere means for benefit to others," the bishops wrote.
The Catholic Conference added that research using adult stem cells does not raise such ethical objections and holds great promise, while the prospect of embryonic stem cell research leading to cures remains "pure conjecture."
But J. Richard Goldstein, president of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals, said yesterday that embryonic stem cells are more adaptable and "seem to be better suited for the research."
Although the bill provides no funding, Goldstein said officially encouraging stem cell research -- as California has done -- could draw scientists to New Jersey.
"Right now some of our best scientists are studying in Europe rather than America," Goldstein said. "This puts us back into the game to be No. 1 in research."
In 2001, in an effort to prevent the destruction of any more embryos, Bush limited federal funding to existing lines of embryonic stem cells. At the time, they were believed to number about 60, but last May the director of the National Institutes of Health said only 11 were available for research.
Codey's bill aims to expand the number of embryonic stem cell lines by informing couples undergoing in vitro fertilization that they have the option of donating any unused embryos for medical research.
"You have thousands of eggs from in vitro fertilization that are going to be flushed down the sewer," Cohen said. He urged his colleagues to instead allow them to be used to find a cure for disease.
My family has had experience with some pretty dreadful diseases that could benefit from advancements in stem cell research. I'm hardcore conservative, except for this chapter of my life's book.
~ Blue Jays ~
December 16, 2003, 9:36 a.m.
Trenton Plays God
A whole new world.
In New Jersey this morning, human cloning is one signature away from a statewide legal green light.
Democratic assemblyman Neil Cohen told his colleagues that Assembly Bill 2840 "is not the most significant law we'll write this session but this century." He's right.
On Monday, during a lame-duck session, the New Jersey state assembly passed an unprecedented bill authorizing human cloning in the Garden State. Veiled as an innocuous "stem-cell" bill in most of the media and by its sponsors and supporters, not one state senator opposed it when it was first up for a vote a year ago this month.
When the assembly voted on Monday, all but one Republican (Rafael Fraguela) either voted "no" or abstained. Only Democratic Assemblyman (Alfred Steele) voted against the bill, and one Democratic assemblywoman (Mary Previte) abstained. That the vote was as close as it was is a credit to the work of the New Jersey Right to Life Committee, fighting against a muddle of disinformation fed by the biotech industry in and out of state. The roll call, too, suggests there is a learning curve on even the most heated issues involving human life: Republicans, for the most part, managed to reach a consensus to reject the bill, despite emotional ad campaigns and the endorsement of Christopher Reeve.
As Wesley Smith, author of The Culture of Death, pointed out last week, the bill's "terms would make it legal in New Jersey to create a human cloned embryo, implant it in a willing woman's womb, gestate it through the ninth month, and only require that the cloned fetus be killed before it becomes a 'new human individual,' e.g., at the very point of birth. This means that [the] law would expressly permit implantation and gestation for any amount of time before the cloned fetus becomes a 'new human individual'!"
That's why the opponents of the bill, now passed by both houses of the New Jersey legislature, have accurately dubbed it a "clone-and-kill" bill.
Three members of the President's Council on Bioethics wrote to Democratic Governor James McGreevey last January imploring him not to sign the cloning bill into law. They warned that it "threatens to make New Jersey a haven for unethical medical practices, including the macabre practice of human fetal farming."
[The] legislation expressly authorizes the creation of new human beings by cloning and, perhaps unintentionally, their cultivation from the zygote stage through the newborn stage for the purpose of harvesting what the bills themselves refer to as "cadaveric" fetal tissue. Please pause to consider whose cadaver the tissue is to be derived from. It is the cadaver of a distinct member of the species homo sapiens a human being who would be brought into being by cloning and, presumably, implanted and permitted to develop to the desired stage of physical maturation for the purpose of being killed for the harvesting of his or her tissues.
Although the legislation purports to ban trafficking in fetal body parts for "valuable consideration," it expressly permits "reasonable payment" for "removal, processing, disposal, preservation, quality control, storage, transplantation, or implantation of embryonic or cadaveric fetal tissue." This is a virtual invitation to cloning entrepreneurs to conduct in the State of New Jersey what would amount to fetal farming for research, presumably including experimental treatments. There seems to be nothing in the legislation to prevent cloning entrepreneurs from paying women a "reasonable" fee to gestate embryos and submit to abortions for the production of human bodily tissues and organs. The entrepreneurs could then charge a "reasonable" fee to their customers for "processing," "preserving," "storing," "transplanting," or "implanting" fetal cadavers and tissues.
And what if a gestating woman has second thoughts and decides not to abort the developing fetus? Would a court be asked to enforce a contract for abortion? We hope and trust that no court would do that. But then we would have what the sponsors of the legislation say they oppose: the birth of human clones.
The governor of New Jersey is about to take a giant leap into the brave new world. He and his staff would be wise to read the bill that has just been passed, read the bioethics council members' letter, and reconsider.
And another legislature, the U.S. Congress, should study this bill carefully and realize what's happening while they fiddle.
Kathryn Jean Lopez
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December 15, 2003
BY ROBERT NOVAK SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
The lame-duck New Jersey State Assembly is poised today to pass a bill members of President Bush's Council on Bioethics contend will permit human cloning. This manipulation plows new ground in the struggle over whether there should be moral limits on science's relentless thrust. With federal anti-cloning legislation stalled in the U.S. Senate, the Garden State takes the first step toward a brave new world.
This bill, passed a year ago by the state Senate, was set to roar through the Assembly in February. It was abruptly pulled from the floor after my column of Feb. 5 pointed out a national precedent would be established in Trenton. Legislative leaders determined to lie low until after the 2003 state elections, then bring back the bill before newly elected legislators are sworn in Jan. 8.
In pressing for this week's vote, the bill's sponsors misrepresent prominent Republicans as supporters. Mostly, they operate by stealth. The action is to be taken by a legislative body where 11 of 80 members are lame ducks who will not sit in the next session.
Just what they are voting on is garbled. The bill asserts that cloning a human being is a ''first degree'' crime, a prohibition harped on by its proponents. In fact, this only prohibits making a baby through nine months of gestation followed by childbirth.
Actually, the legislation permits ''somatic cell nuclear transfer,'' which the President's Council unanimously calls an authorization for ''creation of new human beings by cloning.'' The council's official report asserts ''the initial product'' of somatic cell nuclear transfer is ''a living (one-celled) cloned human embryo.'' The process intends ''to produce such an entity: one that is alive (rather than non-living), one that is human (rather than non-human or animal).'' In short, New Jersey is about to legalize human cloning technique that effectively is exempted from its disingenuous criminal prohibition.
Democratic Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen, deputy majority leader and principal sponsor, last week sent a ''Dear Colleague'' letter asking support for ''stem cell research legislation'' to fight any number of diseases. Cohen claimed backing from ''a wide variety of notables, including those with a conservative philosophy.'' He cited Nancy Reagan, Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and John McCain and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. The implication that any of them endorses Cohen's bill is a canard.
Cohen has distributed a letter written by Mrs. Reagan to Hatch, in which she favors ''new legislation to allow the ethical use of therapeutic cloning'' which might protect families from sharing pain inflicted on her because of Alzheimer's disease. She does not address the New Jersey bill and obviously is unfamiliar with it.
Hatch is more responsible than any other single senator for blocking Sen. Sam Brownback's federal anti-cloning legislation, but he cannot properly be called a backer of Cohen's bill. His aides told this column that Hatch would not support any bill permitting implantation of a cloned embryo or development of a clone for more than 14 days, both of which are permitted by the New Jersey bill. As for McCain, his staff told us: ''We have not endorsed any cloning bill in New Jersey.''
It is even more absurd to place Thompson in Jersey's brave new world. Asserting the president desires anti-cloning legislation, the secretary added that ''the administration could not support any measure purporting to ban 'reproductive' cloning while authorizing 'research' cloning.''
As the bill's contents and supporters are obscured, advocates have not encouraged full debate. When the Newark Star-Ledger blamed me for helping ''stir up enough criticism to keep the bill from passing,'' New Jersey Right to Life asked the paper to print a letter to Gov. James McGreevey from four members of the President's Council asserting that the bill ''threatens to make New Jersey a haven for human fetal farming.'' The editors said they would ''pass.'' The issue has not been fully explored as the lame-duck Assembly takes a fateful step.
Assemblyman Alex DeCroce/973-984-0922
Assembly Republican Office/609-292-5339
December 15, 2003
DeCROCE DENOUNCES FRAGUELA VOTE
ON STEM-CELL RESEARCH
As a result of self-interested actions of Assemblyman Rafael Fraguela, Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce today removed him as member of the Assembly Republican caucus.
"In light of Assemblyman Fraguela's disturbing vote supporting the harvesting of human embryonic cells for profit, I cannot in good conscience recognize him as a member of the Assembly Republican caucus," stated DeCroce, R-Morris, Passaic. "This decision is Assemblyman Fraguela's own doing. On such an important issue as this, he had an obligation to his constituents and his fellow members to participate in the debate that occurred during caucus."
The bill, S-1909, permits human cloning in order to harvest fetal tissue for stem-cell research. The bill also allows for payment for removal, processing, disposal, storage, preservation, transplantation and implantation of embryonic or fetal tissue. Enacting this bill into law will allow women to participate in this type of activity for profit.
"This bill is a matter of conscience and deserved thoughtful consideration," continued DeCroce. "Assemblyman Fraguela did not give the consideration that such a sensitive issue as stem-cell research deserves. He failed to attend caucus and discuss his views with his colleagues. If he intended to vote in favor of this bill, he bore the responsibility to share that with the other members."
"Assemblyman Fraguela showed a complete lack of competence with regards to this situation," DeCroce stated. "The discussion in our caucus was comprehensive and resulted in a decision to have a united front against this bill. Assemblyman Fraguela turned his back on his constituents and colleagues."
"For the duration of this legislative session he can go his own way," said DeCroce.
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