Archive for Tuesday, November 27, 2001

A.G. candidates differ on cloning research

November 27, 2001


— Phill Kline wants Kansas to ban human cloning, but his opponent for the Republican nomination for attorney general says the state should move cautiously.

Kline said Monday that he supports legislation being drafted by a bipartisan group of anti-abortion legislators. His statement came a day after a Massachusetts company claimed it had cloned a human embryo.

Kline's opponent in the GOP primary, Sen. David Adkins, said a proposal designed to prevent the human cloning shouldn't be so broad as to prevent research from embryonic stem cells. Adkins suggested he is in line with President Bush, who decided in August to allow limited stem-cell research.

Kline, of Shawnee, is a former state representative and a vocal opponent of abortion, and his position puts him in line with anti-abortion groups. Adkins, of Leawood, supports abortion rights.

Kline said allowing human cloning would devalue life. Several states, including California, have banned human cloning, and Congress is considering a ban.

In Washington, Bush condemned the breakthrough announced Sunday. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback renewed his call for a complete ban on human cloning.

Kline said: "We must draw a clear moral line that human beings are not to be created so that they may later be harvested for the benefit of others. Human life must not be treated as just another element in the periodic table."

Researchers at the company, Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass., said that they hope to develop genetically compatible replacement cells for patients with a range of illnesses not human clones.

Adkins suggested that Kline was trying to advance an anti-abortion agenda and is using Sunday's announcement as an opportunity for political gain.

"It shows a low regard for the facts and complexity of the situation," Adkins said.

Kline said he supports a proposal being drafted by Sens. Mark Gilstrap, D-Kansas City, and Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, and Rep. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee. They issued a joint statement with Kline.

Their plan would be similar to a proposal approved, 104-17, last year in the House. The bill containing that amendment is before the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

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