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Eagle Forum chief seeks cloning ban

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AMERICAN FORK — The national director of the Eagle Forum, a conservative-watchdog group, urged Utah members Saturday to lobby their congressional representatives to pass bills banning human cloning and late-term abortions.

State Rep. Mike Thompson, R-Orem, also announced a bill he hopes to push through the House this year that would make it illegal to perform late-term abortions, also known as partial-birth abortion.

Lori Waters, executive director for the Eagle Forum in Washington, D.C., said the Republicans' victory in the latest election is good news for conservatives.

"If we hold Congress accountable we will persevere at getting our agenda passed and on the president's desk," Waters said.

Waters said the "bright new day in Washington" could lead to a complete ban on partial-birth abortions and human cloning. She said Eagle Forum members should contact their representatives and senators and urge them to support bills banning both actions.

She encouraged members to especially target Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who supports stem-cell research.

Waters also hopes a Republican-controlled House and Senate can push through conservative judges previously denied.

"We're confident we can get some of these justices, but it's going to take a lot of work," she said.

Waters said the solution to homeland security is increased border control, not such proposals as a national ID card. She worries the card, as well as other measures to track and save personal data, is too intrusive and will lead to a loss of privacy.

"After Sept. 11, Big Brother came out of the woodwork with ideas we had always said 'no way' to," Waters said.

Waters also applauded President Bush's recent tax cuts and said more are in order because the government spends too much money on unnecessary programs.

"I would like to see more substantial tax cuts so the government has less money to spend," she said.

About 150 people attended the daylong conference at American Heritage School in American Fork. Other speakers included Utah Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka, Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, and former U.S. Rep. Merrill Cook, R-Utah.

Thompson will hold a rally in support of his partial-birth abortion bill at noon on Jan. 22 at the state Capitol rotunda.

E-mail: jhyde@desnews.com