Massachusetts Lawmakers Finalize Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 26, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Lawmakers Finalize Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 26, 2005

Boston, MA ( — State lawmakers have come up with a final version of a bill promoting embryonic stem cell research that the House and Senate are expected to give final approval to soon. A conference committee combined different versions of the bill into a final measure expected to be send to the governor.

The state Senate could vote on the bill as early as today and the House is expected to approve the measure next week.

"I’m very excited about it," Sen. Cynthia Creem, a Democrat who sponsored the original bill, told the Associated Press. "I think this is just so special."

However, pro-life groups and Governor Mitt Romney disagree.

The oppose the bill because it would allow scientists to clone human embryos and destroy them to obtain their stem cells for research. It would also remove the requirement that research first obtain permission for studies involving embryonic stem cells.

Romney plans to veto the measure, but he has conceded that he does not have enough votes in the legislature to uphold the veto.

‘‘I will vote my conscience and will veto the current bill, but the game is over,” the governor said earlier this month.

The House approved their version of the bill on a 117-37 margin and the Senate backed it with a 35-2 vote.

Pro-life organizations, opposed to the destruction of human life in embryonic research, have unsuccessfully tried to defeat the legislation. They worried there was no way to do so now.

‘‘We’re concerned that this is on a steamroll, and that members are being pressured by leadership and aren’t able to vote their conscience,” said Ron Crews of the Massachusetts Family Institute told the Patriot Ledger newspaper.

The compromise version of the bill gives the Massachusetts Department of Public Health some regulatory control, as long as it does not undermine the premise of the bill.

Related web sites:
Massachusetts State Legislature –