Congress Will Take Up Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Next Week

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 3, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congress Will Take Up Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Next Week Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 3
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — The House of Representatives is scheduled to take up a measure next week to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. On Thursday, January 11, the House will debate overturning President Bush’s limits on spending public funds on the research, which has never cured any patients.

This is the second time Congress has attempted to require taxpayer funding for the unproven research.

Last May the House voted for the bill by a vote of 238 to 194 but President Bush vetoed the measure in July.

“It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect,” the president said at the time.

He pointed to the use of adult stem cells, which the Bush administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting, as a more ethical and effective alternative because no life is destroyed in the process of collecting the cells and they have already developed cures.

The House failed to achieve a two-thirds override vote shortly after the veto as it voted for the measure 235-193 — some fifty-one votes short of the two-thirds needed.

Since the votes, advocates of embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to help any human patients and experienced numerous problems in animals, gained numerous seats in the House. However, it appears they may not have enough necessary to override a second presidential veto.

The Senate also was short in having enough votes to override but that may have changed because of the November election results.

Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, says he doesn’t think there are enough votes in the House to override a second veto.

He told the National Catholic Register that pro-life advocates need to begin campaigning now to urge Congress to oppose the funding bill.

“Besides our own letters and fact sheets to Congress, the most important thing is hearing from their constituents back home,” said Doerflinger.

Pro-life groups are continuing their efforts to oppose embryonic stem cell research because days-old unborn children must be killed in the process of obtaining their stem cells for studies.

“We will be encouraging Catholics to write to their elected representatives, saying that they don’t want their tax dollars used for this destructive purpose," Doerflinger said.

ACTION: Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121 and urge strong opposition to the embryonic stem cell research funding bill. You can find specific contact information for your elected officials at