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Policy: Stem Cell Wars Afternoon Update

The House appears to be on its way to approving legislation which would relax federal rules on stem cell research.  The debate on both sides has been emotional, as was to be expected.  Ever popular House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is quoted by the Associated Press as saying stem cell research equates to the "dismemberment of living, distinct human beings."  In an effort to sway the undecided, President Bush spoke out against the legislation again this afternoon. "This bill would take us across a critical ethical line," Bush said "by creating new
incentives for the ongoing destruction of emerging human life."

In a carefully orchestrated demonstration of political spontaniety, the White House arranged to have a group of children adopted through fertility clinics appear with the president, all wearing t-shirts which say "former embryo."

UPDATE: As most people were predicting, the House passed the Castle-DeGette bill by a vote of 238-194, which is not a wide enough margin to withstand a presidential veto.  The alternative legislation favored by some Republican leaders, which encourages stem cell research using umbilical cord blood, passed 430-1. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was the lone dissenter.

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jibGregory D. Pawelski Recent comment authors
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jib
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jib

Good post, Gregory:
People who are interested in this issue may also want to visit stem pac, which was recently set up by a guy involved in the Wesley Clark campaign http://www.stempac.com/
Wired’s Kristen Philipowski (sp.) has a piece on this one
http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,67628,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_8

Gregory D. Pawelski
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Gregory D. Pawelski

As a widower and former-caregiver to a cancer patient, I support Senate Bill S. 471, embryonic stem cell research. An embryo “is not” a fetus, but a cluster of about 150 cells which forms a few days after the joining of a sperm and egg, and is no larger than the period at the end of this sentence. Within the center of this cluster are the stem cells, which are like biological blank slates. These cells have the potential to become any of the 200 kinds of cells that make up the human body. Embryonic stem cell research could one… Read more »