Mar. 27, 2003
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space Holds Hearing on Cloning and Women's Health
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I am going to submit a more detailed statement for the record. And I thank our witnesses for being a part of this very important hearing. And I wanted to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and show my support for your efforts to try to help the public better understand the alternative to a ban which we suggest is actually the licensing of a brand-new industry. And I think this hearing is very important to try to communicate to the public what that industry would look like.
And the witnesses have just described, I think, what would be very upsetting to many, many people in this country to think about the level of experimentation that would have to go on, the numbers of women that would be needed for these types of experiments, and the lack of fine-tuning that has occurred to date among animals. And I think that your point about the normal course of scientific work in this country is to perfect some of these techniques on animals before we move to the human population.
So I think that your efforts this morning to help focus on the shortcomings of this Feinstein-Kennedy proposal, which would basically license a brand-new industry, really do some extraordinarily pioneering work that, in many of our minds, crosses the ethical line, as well as the line of common sense, really helps us to maybe better focus on what is before us and at stake.
I also want to note for the record that as the weeks and months go on with many legislatures in session around the country, there have been two legislatures that have recently passed a ban -- I think in North Dakota, as well as in Arkansas. My State, of Louisiana, is very concerned about it, not because, Mr. Chairman, we are against research, not because we are against even stem cell research, not because we do not want science to pursue every avenue to find cures for these terrible diseases that many of us, our children, our grandchildren suffer from, but because we have grave concerns about opening up an industry where the marketplace dictates or moves women to donate their eggs.
And maybe the situation arises where the smarter you are, the, quote, "prettier" you are, the "more attractive" you are, you get paid more for your egg than someone else, who, quote, is "less attractive" or "less smart," to have an industry that virtually is, in many ways, unregulated. And even if it were regulated with our best attempts here, I am not sure that we could eliminate some of the more gruesome aspects of what is being discussed here today.
So I just wanted to state that very briefly for the record, will submit a statement.
I thank the scientists for their work and their efforts. I appreciate we have different views. But again, it is important to conclude that Congress is debating right now -- this issue is whether to license a new industry that would use women as manufacturers. The eggs become commodities, the numbers are in the millions, setting prices on eggs, and injecting hormones into women to produce eggs for the benefit of experimentation. That is where I think is too far for where the American people want to go at this time.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.