Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Where Do We Turn Now on Stem Cells?

So much for by the people and for the people. In spite of the fact that nearly 70% of Americans favor embryonic stem cell research, Bush used his first-ever veto today to stop the discovery of new cures for diseases like juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer's, leukemia and many others. His reason for the veto?
Each of these human embryos is a unique human life, with inherent dignity and matchless value. ...These boys and girls are not spare parts.
What about the boys and girls losing body parts because of his war in Iraq and Afghanistan?

And what about the dignity and matchless value of those people suffering from debilitating diseases? Gov. Granholm touched on this in a personal letter she sent to Bush. [Via For My Amusement Only]
"If our nation is serious about improving both the cost and quality of health care, we must tap the full power of modern science to combat life-threatening illnesses in an ethically responsible manner," Granholm wrote. "The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act enables our nations researchers to do just that."
Granholm earlier called on our Republican controlled Legislature to end the state's ban on embryonic stem cell research as lots of other states have done. (California recently passed a proposal allocating $3 billion to stem cell research.) Their failure to do so is costing our state money, jobs and talented scientists as they flee to other states where this is allowed.

Where does embryonic cell stem research go from here? Congress said they would try for an override veto, but without additional Republicans on board it isn't likely to pass. We could also hope for an initiative petition to get stem cells on the ballot in 2008 if the Legislature doesn't act before then - also highly unlikely.

Don't look for a change at the top to help either. Zack @ Pohlitics believes, "There is absolutely no way this will change if we make the AMWAY DICK our new governor, come November." I have to agree with that call too. DeVos is already on record as saying he opposes embryonic stem cell research.

The best chance we have is to elect a new Democratic Congress in November.

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