South Dakota (Stem Cell)

South Dakota state law explicitly and strictly forbids research on embryonic stem cells, irrespective of the source of the embryos. This state has one of the nation’s strongest laws regarding embryonic stem cells. In fact, on March 28, 2007, at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, Dr. John Bran-nian from the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, gave a seminar titled “Stem Cell Research, Clinic, and Other Things You Can’t Do in South Dakota.”

On July 18, 2006, the U.S. Senate convened to vote on a proposed bill (H.R.810) that would amend the Public Health Service Act and provide federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells. This bill was passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives but was later vetoed by President George W. Bush. In the vote, the two South Dakota senators took opposing stands: Democrat Tim Johnson was in favor of the bill and Republican John R. Thune opposed it.

Biological research at universities in South Dakota cannot directly study stem cell biology; however, faculty and graduate students at the universities are encouraged to remain educated in the field through seminars and courses. Seminars and discussions on the topic are also held on campuses, outside the biological fields.

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