© 2021 KGOU
KGOU_Header_72dpi-11.jpg
News and Music for Oklahoma
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics and Government

Wide House Passage Of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ban In Oklahoma Despite Concerns

A colony of embryonic stem cells. The cells in the background are mouse fibroblasts cells. Only the colony in the centre are human embryonic stem cells.
Ryddragyn
/
Wikimedia Commons
A colony of embryonic stem cells. The cells in the background are mouse fibroblasts cells. Only the colony in the centre are human embryonic stem cells.

The House overwhelmingly passed legislation Monday designed to prevent embryonic stem cell research in Oklahoma.

The measure by state Rep. Dan Fisher would make it a felony crime to perform embryonic stem cell research.

“Presently, the embryos are destroyed in the process of trying to extract these stem cells, and therefore that’s what this bill is attempting to prevent,” Fisher said on the House floor.

“The legislation is opposed by many doctors and business groups, who argue it could impede scientific research. During debate on the House floor, state Rep. Doug Cox, a physician, said it sends a chilling message to the scientific community.

"Would it not be possible to lock a scientist up in the county jail for up to one year, because under your bill, for conducting scientific research on stem cells from an embryo destined for destruction?” Cox asked.

Fisher said that was a fair question.

“The answer is yes, if they knowingly did that,” Fisher replied.

Fisher says he believes the destruction of human embryos amounts to murder and should be illegal.

“These families that have unused embryos that they don’t want, and don’t want to continue to preserve, can give those out to adoption to wonderful couples, many of them standing in line to receive these if they can find them,” Fisher said.

The bill heads to the Senate on an 80-13 vote. Similar stem cell research bans have failed in the Legislature in previous years.

--------------------------------------
KGOU produces journalism in the public interest, essential to an informed electorate. Help support informative, in-depth journalism with a donation online, or contact our Membership department.

More News

Readers and listeners power the public service journalism KGOU and NPR provide. Donate online.