Three public policy organizations (Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, Concerned Women for America of IL, and Eagle Forum of IL) held a press conference yesterday in Chicago to spotlight last week’s unilateral hold-up by state Rep. William Delgado of HB4156, which would halt taxpayer funding of human cloning in IL and regulate documented gross human cloning and embryonic experimentations.
HB4156 has 51 cosponsors and enough confirmed votes to pass on the Floor of the Illinois House, yet Delgado refused to allow the Human Services Committee he chairs to even vote on it.
It seems to go that way in the IL General Assembly: Liberals hold up conservative bills in committee, rightfully fearing they will pass on the Floor; meanwhile, liberals force their own bills through committee only to see them rightfully languish on the Floor.
HB4156 with its proposed amendment would not only have stopped Gov. Blagojevich with his in-place plan to force taxpayer funding of human cloning experimentation, it would have provided controls on this unregulated research.
Delgado claimed to oppose human cloning, but he refused to let his committee vote on HB4156. Delgado also claimed public funding will force the industry to regulate, but he refused our amendment regulating the industry.
We can’t help but wonder if Delgado has a conflict of interest, since he admitted in committee he has a relative in the in vitro fertilization business (which currently feeds researchers their eggs and embryos).
But Speaker Michael Madigan and Rules Committee Chair Barbara Flynn Currie refused to allow the bill to be moved to get a fair hearing.
So human cloning remains a free-for-all in IL, where in 2003 Chicago researcher Norbert Gleicher announced he had inserted human male cells into female embryos and allowed the “she-males” to live six days before destroying them.
[Photo, courtesy of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, is of an African green monkey into which researchers on the island of St. Kitts have implanted several million human neural stem cells.]
We can also look forward to experiments conducted here as in CA, where Salk Institute researchers announced in December they had successfully implanted human cells into mouse brains. Other researchers have inserted human cells into rabbit and cow eggs. In 2004, Mayo Clinic researchers announced they had created pigs with human blood.
Thanks to Delgado and House leadership, unethical research like this will not only go on unfettered, but the people of Illinois may have to pay for it.
And BTW, one wonders what Gov. Blagojevich will hide in his budget this year? Last year it was $10 million to fund the aforementioned.

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