Massachusetts Senate Approves Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Senate Approves Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 27, 2005

Boston, MA ( — The Massachusetts state Senate approved a finalized version of a bill that would promote unproven embryonic stem cell research in the Bay State. The 34-2 vote margin is large enough to overcome a veto by Governor Mitt Romney.

Last month, the Senate passed a similar version of the measure, 35-2, and the House passed a similar version, 117-37.

The lower chamber is expected to sign off on the bill next week.

Aides to Romney told Rep. Bradford Hill, a Republican who opposes the bill, that he will still veto the bill.

Romney 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.

Though the measure sailed through the Senate, some lawmakers who support it have concerns.

State Sen. Cynthia Creem, a Democrat, said during debate that she worried the sale of eggs collected from women for use in human cloning techniques would lead to the exploitation of poor women who need the money they receive as a result.

State Rep. Brad Hill, an opponent of the bill, agrees and told the Associated Press, "We wanted to take a little bit slower. We don’t want to see women abusing their bodies."

Pro-life groups 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.

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.

The legislature must be notified 60 days before a regulation takes effect and lawmakers can suggest changes to it.

Related web sites:
Massachusetts State Legislature –