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Arkansas has a historic link to stem cell legislation in the United States. In 1996, a Republican-controlled Congress, in a rider attached to the appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services, banned the use of federal funds for any research in which a human embryo is either created or destroyed. Each year since 1996, Congress has renewed the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, named for its authors, Representatives Jay Dickey of Arkansas and Roger Wicker of Mississippi. Seven years after the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, Arkansas passed a law prohibiting the production of a living organism at any stage of development that is genetically virtually identical to an existing or previously existing human organism. The 2003 law also made human cloning a felony punishable by prison sentences ...

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