Congress May Vote Soon on Stem Cell Research Bill Opposing Bush

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congress May Vote Soon on Stem Cell Research Bill Opposing Bush Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 10, 2005

Washington, DC ( — The House of Representatives may soon vote on a bill that would overturn President Bush’s policy of limiting taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life. Pro-life groups are urging lawmakers to reject the legislation.

The president put his stem cell research policy in place in August 2001. He said that his administration would not fund any new embryonic stem cell research because it destroys the life of unborn children in their earliest days.

Bush has instead favored the use of adult stem cells, which have produced dozens of treatments and cures, and he has funded such stem cell research with more than $190 million from the National Institutes of Health.

That’s not enough for some lawmakers, such as Reps. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, and Diane DeGette, a Colorado Democrat.

They have sponsored legislation, HR 810, that would overturn Bush’s limits and authorize federally funded research using stem cells from human embryos. The process of collecting the cells destroys the human being.

"It is important for pro-life citizens to tell their federal representatives that they support President Bush’s policy against funding research that requires the killing of human embryos," Douglas Johnson of National Right to Life, told

Johnson’s group is worried because the bill already has 198 co-sponsors, just 20 short of the number needed to give the bill a majority vote in the House. A vote is expected on the bill this summer.

If Congress passes HR 810, it won’t be following the views of most Americans.

In an August 2004 poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, 53 percent of respondents said that they opposed “using tax dollars to pay for the kind of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos,” while only 38 percent supported it.

ACTION: Contact any Representative at or any Senator at You can also reach members of Congress at 202-224-3121.

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