|Subject: [Pflienews] PharmFacts E-News Update: Ohio SB 174 needs total pro-life protective language before a vote!|
|From: PFLI PharmAid Center |
|Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 14:47:23 -0400|
|To: PFLI E News Updates |
OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Cosponsors: Senators Carey, Coughlin, Gardner, Schuler
To amend section 3701.99 and to enact section 3701.94 of the Revised Code to prohibit human cloning.
[[Doesn’t specify if the prohibition applies only to the use of state funds, or also applies to the use of private funds. Would need to see the wording of the law they are amending. But as it stands with this amendment alone, that would be good!]]
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That section 3701.99 be amended and section 3701.94 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
(A) As used in this section:
(1) "DNA" means human deoxyribonucleic acid.
[[True, but there is no futher reference in this bill’s formal definitions to any “DNA”, so one wonders why it is even mentioned, much less formally defined? Does it have anything to do with items in the original law they are amending?? This is a worry. If they there define “human genome” ONLY in terms of the nuclear DNA (which is erroneous), then they would not have to address the problem with foreign mitochondrial DNA in the cloned embryo when using any nuclear transfer cloning techniques, nor worry about any immune rejection problems in patients into whom such cells were injected. The “human genome” is accurately defined as including ALL the DNA in a cell, including both the nuclear and the mitochondrial DNA.]]
(2) "Human blastocyst" means an early stage human embryo that is five to seven days after conception.
[[ The bill fails to legally define “conception”. So its legal meaning is up for grabs. If “conception” means “fertilization”, then the bill does NOT apply to any human embryos reproduced by ANY asexual methods – and thus using these same embryos at ANY stage in research, etc., would be legal. If “conception” means “implantation”, then the bill would NOT cover ANY human embryos before implantation, whether sexually or asexually reproduced. Someone needs to check the original law that this is amending, as well as any other law, code, or regulation in Ohio, for any formal legal definitions there, including “conception”. ]]
A blastocyst has an outer layer of cells known as the trophoblast, and an interior group of cells that is the inner cell mass.
[[Note that there are TWO stages of the early human embryo that are defined as “blastocysts”: Stage 3 is called the “free blastocyst”; Stage 4 is called the “implanting blastocyst”. Both Stages are found both in vivo (while the embryo is moving through the fallopian tubes) and in vitro (while the embryo is in the lab dish). This amendment is vague as to whether both Stages are included in the term “blastocyst”. One worries about the “free blastocyst” – both in vivo and in vitro -- as that would make such embryos vulnerable to any loopholes present in this amendment.
Also, this description of the blastocyst was taken advantage of by the McCormick/Grobstein “pre-embryo” people (and thus a “fingerprint”) to imply that ONLY the cells of the “inner cell mass” was the “embryo”; the outer cell layer was considered as just a bunch of cells. This is scientifically erroneous. The combination of both cells layers is the WHOLE embryo. Also, there is no clear divide between the two layers of the embryo; there are exchanges of cells between the two layers; thus some cells from the outer cell layer end up in the human adult, and some cells from the inner cell layer become part of the umbilical cord, etc. Again, why are they giving these formal legal definitions here in this amendment, when there is no further reference to them needed?]]
(3) "Human cloning" means the creation of a human zygote, human blastocyst, or human embryo by any means other than the fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.
[[Sounds good, but ....
-- “other than the fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm”; if “conception” means “implantation” [ e.g. as commonly referred to by the "false science" of pro-abortion groups like ACOG, then this would NOT legally apply to embryos before implantation, and thus the use of such same embryos would be legal, as would the use of abortifacients, etc.
-- “human zygote”; according to the Carnegie Stages, the “embryo” begins when the sperm penetrates the oocyte; the “zygote” refers only to the last part of Stage One. Therefore, defining the earliest embryo as beginning only at the zygote phase would leave the embryo before that time. Such embryos would NOT be covered by this amendment. This would include a lot of cloning and genetic engineering, e.g. pronuclei transfer, insertion of artificial genes and chromosomes, etc.
-- “human blastocyst”; if this phrase refers only to the embryo at Stage 4 (implanting blastocyst), then it would not legally cover the embryo at Stage 3 (free blastocyst), either in vivo or in vitro.]]
(4) "Human embryo" means an organism of the species homo sapiens during the earliest stages of development from one cell up to eight weeks.
[[If by “one cell” they mean the “zygote”, then the developing embryo at Stage 1 before the final formation of the zygote is not covered by this amendment, thus allowing all sorts of cloning and other genetic engineering reproduction.]]
(5) "Human zygote" means a one-cell human embryo.
[[Ibid. The human embryo begins before the zygote phase, at penetration of the oocyte by the sperm (or artificially, when the “matter is appropriately organized”).]]
(B) Except as provided in division (C) of this section, no person or governmental entity shall knowingly do any of the following:
[[Precisely what is “provided in division (C)? Is this a problematic “exception”? ]]
(1) Perform or attempt to perform human cloning;
course, this depends entirely on how “human cloning” is being legally
defined here (see above); also depends on
formal legal definitions used in the law being amended, as well as any
formal legal definitions of any of these terms in any other current
laws, regulations in Ohio – including their legal definition of
(2) Participate in the performance or attempted performance of human cloning;
(3) Send or receive a human embryo that is produced by human cloning or any product derived from that embryo.
[[Depends on how one is defining “human embryo” (e.g., would NOT include the developing human embryo before the final zygote phase); might NOT include the human embryo at the free blastocyst Stage, or before implantation, etc.]]
(C) Nothing in this section shall restrict the areas of scientific research that do not involve the creation or use of a human embryo produced by human cloning or any product derived from a human embryo produced by human cloning.
[[Again, depends on the definitions of relevant terms (above).]]
The areas of research that are not restricted by this section include, but are not limited to, the use of nuclear transfer or other cloning techniques to produce molecules, DNA, tissues, organs, plants, animals other than humans, or cells other than human embryos.
[[This “exceptions” clause is usually used, but also contains several potential legal loopholes. FYI, attached to this Update is an article on how to write a human cloning ban which covers this “exception” clause, available at: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_87updatedefinitions.html. Here are Prof. Irving's concerns as noted in that article:
9. The “prohibition”
or “exception” clauses in legislation also provide opportunities
for loopholes. Many of them are caused by using
problematic terms as noted above – especially: (1)
the use of the plural term “cellS” only, which would leave out
of protection the SINGLE CELL EMBRYO; and (2) the use of terms such as “DNA molecules”,
etc., which would allow the “parts” of the single-cell embryo (e.g.,
genes, chromosomes, pronuclei, nuclei, mitochondria, etc.) to be used
in extensive genetic engineering research. Therefore
the terms used in these clauses must also be very carefully scrutinized
before legally “allowing” legitimate research to continue.
As has been
pointed out, “cloning” is not the whole problem. Cloning
is only one kind of genetic engineering; there are many kinds of genetic engineering that
have already been used and that are already contemplated that are
Cf. see the article: http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_25scientificrefer1.html. Many of the legal loopholes in such legislation concern those other kinds of genetic engineering that are used as “reproductive technologies”, but not considered “cloning” as so defined in such bills.]]
Sec. 3701.99. (A) Whoever violates division (C) of section 3701.23, division (C) of section 3701.232, division (C) of section 3701.24, division (B) of section 3701.25, division (I) of section 3701.262, division (D) of section 3701.263, or sections 3701.46 to 3701.55 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on each subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(B) Whoever violates section 3701.82 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(C) Whoever violates section 3701.352 or 3701.81 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(D) Whoever violates section 3701.94 of the Revised Code shall be subject to the following:
(1) A term of imprisonment of
not more than two years;
[[Generally, the use of imprisonment or high fines in a bill signals the court to pay more attention to the literal meaning of the formal definitions used in a law, rather than to a more vague “interpretation” of what was possibly meant. Thus, this amendment, if passed into law, would probably interpret the above definitions (as well as those of the rest of the law which is being amended) precisely as formally defined – thus NOT covering all sorts of things and possibilities.]]
(2) If the offender derives pecuniary gain as a result of the violation, a fine of not less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars and not more than an amount equal to two times the amount of the gross pecuniary gain if that amount is more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars.Section 2. That existing section 3701.99 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
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