Massachusetts Leg. Overrides Embryonic Stem Cell Research Veto

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 31, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Leg. Overrides Embryonic Stem Cell Research Veto Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 31, 2005

Boston, MA ( — State lawmakers overrode a veto of a bill that would promote embryonic stem cell research over Governor Mitt Romney’s objections. The new law takes away requirements that scientists seek approval before moving forward with the controversial research.

The state House and Senate both exceeded the two-thirds vote needed to override the veto. The House approved the measure 112-42 and the Senate backed it on a 35-2 vote.

Under the bill, researchers will not longer have to obtain prior approval from the local district attorney to move ahead with the unproven research.

The new law gives the state health department some regulatory controls, but Romney and pro-life groups opposed the bill because it opens the floodgates to destroying human embryos for research.

Romney said at a news conference that he was unable to sign the bill because it promoted human cloning to create human embryos with the sole intention of destroying them for research.

The Republican governor said he could not "in good conscience allow this bill to become law," in a letter to lawmakers.

Though it overrode the veto, some lawmakers still 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.

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

Related web sites:
Massachusetts State Legislature –