Massachusetts Lawmakers Say They Can Pass Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Lawmakers Say They Can Pass Stem Cell Research Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 2, 2005

Boston, MA ( — State lawmakers say they can get a bill funding embryonic stem cell research through the state legislature without Governor Mitt Romney’s support. They also believe they have enough votes to overcome a veto.

House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a Democrats, says he wants to get the stem cell bill to Romney’s desk by the end of the month.

The measure clarifies existing law to make it legal to conduct research with human embryonic stem cells. Pro-life groups oppose the measure because the stem cells can only be obtained by destroying human lives.

Meanwhile, Senate President Robert Travaglini predicted the state legislature would have the necessary two-thirds votes to override a veto.

"We’re already at two-thirds," he told the Associated Press. "We’re going to have to override a gubernatorial veto. He (Romney) has made it abundantly clear that he is going to veto the bill."

Romney previously indicated he supports stem cell research in general, but had not explained whether he supported the more controversial use of embryonic stem cells.

In an interview last month, Romney said he opposed the research, which has yet to cure any patients as adult stem cells have.

"Some of the practices that Harvard and probably other institutions in Massachusetts are engaged in cross the line of ethical conduct," Romney said.

"My wife has M.S., and we would love for there to be a cure for her disease and for the diseases of others," Romney added

Pro-life organizations spoke out against the bill at a hearing last month.

"Embryonic stem cells can only be obtained by destroying the human embryo,” said Maria Parker, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. "The human embryo, however it is created, is an actual, real human being.”

"We all know, apart from any religious teaching, that it is morally wrong to kill another human being,” Parker added.

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