S1909/A2840

S1909/A2840 is a bill that was passed by the New Jersey legislature in December 2003, and signed into law by Governor James McGreevey on January 4, 2004, that permits human cloning for the purpose of developing and harvesting human stem cells. Specifically, it legalizes the process of cloning a human embryo, and implanting the clone into a womb, provided that the clone is then aborted and used for medical research.

Views regarding the legislation

Supporters of the legislation hailed it as promoting medical progress through science, giving hope for the development of treatments for debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and diabetes. New Jersey Assemblyman Neil Cohen lauded it as "not the most significant law we'll write this session—but this century." Paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve, who believes that such legislation may hasten the development of methods to reverse paralysis, testified in support of the bill.

However, Congressmen Chris Smith, Mike Ferguson, and Scott Garrett assailed it, saying, "This legislation will launch New Jersey blindly into the vanguard of terrible human-rights violations and grisly human experimentation." They also claim that, in practice, once a clone is developing in a womb, there is nothing that will prevent it from leading to "the world's first human clone being born and starting a horrible new era of human history." New Jersey's Catholic bishops condemned the newly legalized process as violating "a central tenet of all civilized codes on human experimentation beginning with the Nuremberg Code...[It approves] doing deadly harm to a member of the human species solely for the sake of potential benefit to others."

See also: therapeutic cloning

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