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Although Rhode Island law explicitly prohibits human cloning, state statutes do not prohibit cloning that is not intended to replicate a human being or research on aborted fetus or embryo tissue. The Hinxton Group, which describes itself as an informal collection of researchers and others interested in stem cell policies and ethics from around the world, lists Rhode Island among nine states that it considers “Permissive” policy states. (Neighboring states Massachusetts and Connecticut also appear in this category.) Even the Rhode Island law that restricts the use of human cells for particular purposes grants explicit permission for research so long as that research is not directed at human cloning.

Political leaders in Rhode Island have generally favored stem cell research. For example, Congressman Jim Langevin of ...

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