HR 2560, a.k.a. The “Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007”, was defeated 213-204. This bill pretended to ban human cloning by defining human cloning as the implantation of a cloned embryo in a uterus (though they did not say “cloned embryo”), rather than the creation of the embryo itself.

The bill states that “it shall be unlawful…to perform or attempt to perform human cloning.” So far so good. It goes on to make it unlawful “to ship, mail, transport, or receive the product of human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology knowing that such product is for the purpose of human cloning.” My question is, What’s the difference? What is the unnamed “product” to which they refer? Considering the fact that somatic cell nuclear transfer technology is the technology used in cloning (it’s what was used to create Dolly the sheep), the product is none other than a cloned human being. But wait…I thought the bill banned human cloning. Silly me! I’m using “human cloning” in a scientific way. These politicians aren’t doing that. They are making up their own political definitions of these terms so they can trick the public. Here is how the bill defines “human cloning” and “somatic cell nuclear transfer”:

Human cloning: “The implantation of the product of human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology into a uterus or the functional equivalent of a uterus.”
Human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology: “Transferring the nuclear material of a human somatic cell into an egg cell from which the nuclear material has been removed or rendered inert.”

The fact of the matter is that somatic cell nuclear transfer is the process by which a human clone is created. Once the nuclear material of a human somatic cell has been transferred into an enucleated egg and fused together, the act of cloning is complete. Where one puts the newly cloned human being after that (whether in a uterus, Petri dish, or trash can) has nothing to do with cloning. Shame on the politicians who are writing these deceptive bills (including an earlier Senate bill, and several different state bills), but thank goodness for the sanity of those in Congress who voted to defeat this bill.