Social conservatives are decrying a New Jersey law that permits creating cloned children for research.

The bill, signed January 4 by Gov. James McGreevey, is the first to allow any human cloning. It permits implanting a cloned human embryo into a woman's uterus, where the embryo can grow into a fetus. In addition, the law allows "embryonic or cadaveric fetal tissue" to be donated for research.

"We laid out a vision to make New Jersey a leader in medical research and medical care," McGreevey said, "to give hope to the hundreds of thousands of families across the state affected by chronic and life-threatening disease."

Efforts to ban all forms of human cloning have stalled in the U.S. Senate. In July 2002, the President's Council on Bioethics recommended a complete ban on human cloning for reproduction but only a four-year moratorium on cloning for research.

Human cloning differs from sexual procreation, in which sperm and egg combine to form a human embryo. Instead, adult DNA is implanted into an egg to become a cloned human embryo and, later, a fetus or newborn baby.

Under the New Jersey law, human cloning can only be done for biomedical research, not reproduction. But opponents say the distinction is meaningless.

"The ban can't be enforceable," said Robert George, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and a professor of political science at Princeton University. "There's simply no way to force a woman to have an abortion if she doesn't way to destroy [the cloned human embryo or fetus]."

Related Elsewhere:

Other news articles on the bill include:

Cloning and the First State | With a dishonest bill pending, Delaware looks to join New Jersey as a haven for human cloning. (The Weekly Standard)
A bold step | Governor signs stem cell research legislation into law (Jersey City Reporter, NJ)

Previous CT coverage of cloning from our Life Ethics page includes:

Limited Cloning Ban Disappoints Prolife Groups | President's Council on Bioethics recommends a four-year moratorium on research cloning. (Aug. 19, 2002)
Goodbye, Dolly | We need nothing less than a total ban on human cloning. (May 15, 2002)
Weblog: 'All Human Cloning Is Wrong,' Says Bush | Public is 4-to-1 against all human cloning, but Senate is evenly split on comprehensive ban. (April 11, 2002)
Weblog: The Prolife Push | It's 2002, time to ban cloning. (January 15, 2002)
New Coalition Rallies Against Human Cloning | After Advanced Cell Technology announcement, sharp criticism comes from all sides. (December 20, 2001)
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Opinion Roundup: 'Only Cellular Life'? | Christians, leaders, and bioethics watchdogs react to the announcement that human embryos have been cloned. (November 29, 2001)
Weblog: Human Cloning's 'Success' | Human embryos cloned for 1st time. (November 26, 2001)
The New Tyranny | Biotechnology threatens to turn humanity into raw material. (Oct. 5, 2001)
Manipulating the Linguistic Code | Religious language falling into the hands of scientists can be a fearful thing. (Oct. 4, 2001)
Times Fifty | Can a clone be an individual? A short story. (Oct. 2, 2001)
Wanna Buy a Bioethicist? | Some corporations have discovered that bioethics makes good public relations. (Sep. 28, 2001)
A Matter of Life and Death | Why shouldn't we use our embryos and genes to make our lives better? The world awaits a Christian answer. (Sep. 28, 2001)
House Backs Human Cloning Ban | Scientists say they'll go ahead anyway. (August 27, 2001)
Embryos Split Prolifers | Bush decision pleases some, keeps door open for disputed research. (August 27, 2001)
Two Cheers | President Bush's stem-cell decision is better than the fatal cure many sought. (August 10, 2001)
House of Lords Legalizes Human Embryo Cloning | Religious leaders' protests go unheeded by lawmakers. (Feb. 2, 2001)
Britain Debates Cloning of Human Embryos | Scientists want steady stream of stem cells for "therapeutic" purposes. (Nov. 22, 2000)

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