State Rep. Jay Neal (R-LaFayette) introduced the Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act on Monday in the Georgia House of Representatives, a bill which would ban creation of an in vitro hybrid human-animal embryo.
The H.B. 481 specifically forbids:
- Knowingly creating an in vitro human embryo by means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm;
- Creating an in vitro hybrid human-animal embryo;
- Transferring an in vitro human embryo into a womb of a nonhuman;
- Transferring an in vitro nonhuman embryo into the womb of a human;
A similar legislation was introduced in 2009 in Georgia, but the S.B. 169 recognized all human embryos as having the legal right to life and legal protection.
The bill was viewed as anti-embryonic stem cell research and ran into quite a few problems with reproductive rights groups. S.B. 169 was shut down in Georgia House.
This time around, the Human Embryos Act stands more of a chance of passing since it doesn’t approach issues related to human infertility.
However, the legislation has to get through the House Science and Technology Committee chaired by state Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Kennesaw) who has a history of leading efforts to ban embryonic stem cell research.
In addition, a University of Georgia stem cell research lab discovered in 2010 that they can "incorporate pluripotent stem cells — cells that can develop into any other kind of cells — into embryos that grow into pigs."
Researchers believe that at some point, with additional research, the "pig parts could one day be transplanted into humans to replace failing hearts or other organs." (click here to read about this research)
The Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act could potentially restrict similar scientific studies.