Wisc. Would Criminalize Fetal Cell Research

     MADISON, Wisc. (CN) – A Wisconsin Assembly committee approved a bill that would send scientific researchers to prison for up to 6 years on felony charges if they use tissue from aborted fetuses.
      Assembly Bill 305 would allow scientific research to continue using tissue obtained before 2015, but it would be a felony to sell, donate or do research on cells obtained from fetuses aborted after Jan. 1, 2015.
     The Assembly Criminal Justice Committee approved the bill by 7-4 vote on Sept. 9.
     After University of Wisconsin researchers said the bill would impede the search for cures for diseases, and drive scientists away to other states, some Republican lawmakers opposed it.
     State Rep. John Spiros, R-Marshfield, withdrew his co-sponsorship of the bill the day before the vote, but voted for it.
     The bill was an obvious reaction to videos secretly recorded by political pranksters at Planned Parenthood offices. Gov. Scott Walker, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, and wants to defund Planned Parenthood, has not taken a public stand on AB 305, though he has called sale of fetal tissue “abhorrent.”

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