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Behind the Stem-Cell Rhetoric

Posted by thelamp on July 27, 2006

 To hear critics of President Bush last week, you’d think his veto of a bill to greatly expand federal funding of human embryonic stem-cell research was a death knell for a promising, non-controversial area of research that deserves the popular support of the American people.

The critics are wrong on all counts. Funding human embryonic stem-cell research would be a bad deal the for the taxpayer even if it were ethical (and it’s not); President Bush was right to put a stop to this scientific boondoggle.

To send an e-mail to the White House thanking President Bush for standing up for the sanctity of human life, click here.

President Bush vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act last week, in front of a group of pro-life and pro-family leaders that included Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity. It was the President’s first veto during his tenure in office. The House of Representatives sustained the veto last week as well, killing the issue for this session of Congress.

“The President’s veto was only common sense,” said Pastor Parsley. “Once you understand the issue of stem-cell research, there’s simply no justification for destroying human embryos in the name of science. Research using stem cells from other sources is simply much more promising that research on human embryos. If life is worth defending – and it is – we simply dare not start down the path of using human beings for spare parts.”

“At the President’s veto message, I saw what happened to some of the embryos scientists would destroy in the name of research. They were precious young children called “snowflake babies” who were adopted while still an embryo, to parents who are giving them a loving home. I can’t think of a better demonstration of the argument that people matter more than anything else – even people whose lives can be measured in mere days.”

The outcry of those who stood to financially benefit from the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act has been full of deception and outright falsehoods. For example, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., claimed in a statement that the President’s veto “block(s) progress to new cures.” It doesn’t.

Human embryonic stem-cell research is legal in this country, and the veto didn’t change that. In fact, there are 21 human embryonic stem-cell lines that are eligible for federal funding. These lines were already in existence when President Bush made the funding available in August 2001. This issue has always been about how much federal tax money is funneled into an area of research that has simply not been productive – especially in contrast to adult stem-cell research. Private and other governmental sources are still available for this research. There’s no justification, however, for federal dollars to be used for research that destroys human life.

Also last week, Rep. Diane DeGette, D-Colo., publicly claimed that President Bush was motivated by political gain rather than by morality. Americans have never had any reason to believe he is anything other than a passionate defender of human life. He stated his views on this matter in 2001, and his veto last week was consistent with those views.

One of the greatest ironies of the past week was that the House of Representatives blocked passage of a bill, the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Act, that would have provided federal funding for ethical forms of research using adult stem cells. The House’s action did more to block progress to new cures than anything the President did with his vetoes – and it may have exposed the agenda of those who favor destroying human embryos in the name of science. Is it possible that their agenda is less about finding cures than it is about delivering federal funds to the biotech industry?

President Bush’s veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act was courageous and correct. He deserves the thanks of all Americans for his stand on behalf of the sanctity of human life. To thank him for vetoing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, click here.

Thank you for making your voice heard!


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