HB 287 The Embryo Protection Act

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Feb 21, 2015 Comments Off on HB 287 The Embryo Protection Act kirbyforgeorgia

HB 287 The Embryo Protection Act

There are two separate and totally different discussions going on around HB 287.  The first is an actual discussion of the bill.  This bill starts the discussion on where the line should be drawn in Georgia with regards to conducting experiments on Human Beings.  HB 287 says that line begins at conception and human embryos should not be used for experiments and research.  The bill includes embryos that are partial human and partial non-human.  The discussion about the bill itself has 2 main points.  The first is do you agree that that human embryos should not be used for experiments.  There are those who disagree with this and believe that it is acceptable to create human embryos for experiments and research.  The second point is does the bill say what it is intended to say.  There has never been a perfect bill, and never will be. Often statements are interpreted different by different people.  We welcome others views on what will improve the bill to ensure it does not have unintended consequences.  That is HB 287.

Then there is the media, social media and pseudo-media discussions.   Wow, this has been interesting and educational.  It was no surprise that the media questioned if it was even possible to add non-human material to a human embryo.  I used the research from Cornell University in 2008, where a protein from a jellyfish was inserted into a human embryo to confirm this is possible.  The Cornell research was published in the scientific journal and there are several articles about it that are very easy to find.  Because the Cornell results indicated that after 3 days of cell division, all cells now glowed from the jellyfish protein, the media decided to run with the Glow in the dark story.  Once the Social Media and pseudo-media got a hold of it, they just kept building on each other’s stories.  The AJC sent a reporter to ask about HB 287.  She said they wanted to put the statement that non-human material could be mixed with a human embryo through their Politifact meter.  Giving her the easily verified Cornell results should have taken care of that.  However, for some reason they changed what they were checking.  Instead they checked a headline from one of the “entertainment” newspapers.  I can only assume they changed to something that fit their agenda better.  Perhaps the most interesting of all is a local Atlanta TV station.  After conducting an interview about HB 287, and the reporter acknowledging he understood that this was a serious issue and not at all like what was being discussed, he just couldn’t help himself.  He asked several silly questions about mythological creatures and others from cartoons.  I should have just shut him down then, but actually believing he was a man of his word and would report what HB 287 is really about, I made the error of playing along with him.  Needless to say, the version they aired did not live up to the commitment made to me.  Lesson learned.

PLAY TIME IS OVER!  It is time to turn this back to serious discussion that it should have always been.  In the 2006 State of the Union address President George W Bush weighed in on the issue when he said,  “Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms; creating or implanting embryos for experiments; creating human-animal hybrids; and buying, selling or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our creator, and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale.”

In 2009 then Senator, Now Governor Brownback of Kansas introduced S.1435 — Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009 with Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mr. BUNNING, Mr. BURR, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. COBURN, Mr. CORKER, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. ENSIGN, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. INHOFE, Mr. JOHANNS, Mr. KYL, Mr. MARTINEZ, Mr. MCCAIN, Mr. RISCH, Mr. THUNE, Mr. VITTER, Mr. VOINOVICH, Mr. WICKER, and Mr. DEMINT) introduced the following bill as bi-partisan cosigners.

Also in 2009 in Louisiana Senate Bill 115 — which was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal — makes it unlawful for, “any person to knowingly create a human-animal hybrid.” You can read an article written December of 2013 by The Daily Reveille after the passage of the bill.

In 2010 a similar law was signed by Governor Jan Brewer who said, “It’s placing some ethical boundaries around scientific research in Arizona,” Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, who wrote the measure said, “ this law will “proactively” prevent such experimentation.”  You can also read an article written by the Arizona Daily Star in May of 2010 after Governor Brewer signed their bill into law.

In every instance, the media ridiculed and joked about the human animal hybrids, but that did not deter these leaders from standing firm on their principal to protect human life.  Yes, we have taken abuse from the uninformed, the unknowing and the uncaring.  HB 287, when passed, will set those ethical boundaries that should not be crossed.  We will not let these clowns stand in the way of moving HB 287 forward.