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Arkansas begins new year with anti-cloning law

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Lawmakers cite moral grounds in banning public funding.

Beginning with the new year, Arkansas will prohibit state funding for human cloning or destructive embryo research, the New York Times reported.

The “prospect of creating new human life solely to be exploited or destroyed has been condemned on moral grounds as displaying a profound disrespect for a human life,” lawmakers said in passing the bill.

The new law will also block funds to state educational institutions investigating stem cell research using human embryos, the Times said, adding that Arizona, Maryland and Missouri already prohibit the use of state funds to pay for reproductive cloning. North Dakota, South Dakota and Oklahoma are the only states to ban all forms of human cloning.

This past year, Arkansas passed a law prohibiting abortion after 18 weeks gestation, according to Live Action. It was signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson, but was struck down by a federal court. Legislators also passed a ban on abortion due to a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. Hutchinson signed that bill into law as well, but a federal court struck it down. In addition, Hutchinson signed a law that will ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

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