Okla. House approves embryonic stem cell ban

A bill that makes it a felony crime to conduct certain types of embryonic stem cell research in Oklahoma has been overwhelmingly approved in the House, despite concerns it sends the wrong message to the nation's research community.

The Oklahoma House voted 73-14 for the Protection of Human Life Act of 2013. The measure prohibits "nontherapeutic research" that destroys a fertilized human egg. Although the bill specifically exempts embryo transfers connected with in vitro fertilization, it is being opposed by the Oklahoma State Medical Association.

OSMA spokesman Wes Glinsmann says the bill raises a "troubling precedent for future research."

The author of the bill, El Reno Republican Rep. Dan Fisher, says he believes life begins at conception and ending that life is murder.

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