Cloning Law and Legal Definition

Human cloning is defined as human asexual reproduction, accomplished by introducing the genetic material from one (1) or more human somatic cells into a fertilized or unfertilized oocyte whose nuclear material has been removed or inactivated so as to produce a living organism, at any stage of development, that is genetically virtually identical to an existing or previously existing human organism.

Twelve states have laws governing human cloning. In 1997, California enacted the first statute banning reproductive cloning, or cloning to initiate a pregnancy. Later, other states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Rhode Island, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Virginia have enacted measures to prohibit reproductive cloning.

Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota laws also prohibit therapeutic cloning, or cloning for research purposes. Virginia's law also may ban human cloning for any purpose because the law fails to define "human being," which is used in the definition of human cloning.