by Steven Ertelt
March 22, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Saying President Bush has "few allies left in the stem cell debate" and claiming the "mainstream of his party deserted him last year" on a bill to force taxpayers to pay for embryonic stem cell research, the Washington Post is calling on the president to not veto the latest bill.
The Senate could vote on its version of the bill as early as next week but President Bush has remained firm in his opposition to it.
The Post used the remarks of Elias Zerhouni, head of the federal National Institutes of Health, to a Senate subcommittee earlier this week to urge the president to reverse course.
"With popular stem cell legislation all but assured to pass this year in the Democratic Congress, perhaps Mr. Bush should reconsider his position," the newspaper said.
In asking for Bush to change his mind, the newspaper criticized the use of adult stem cells, even though they have been the only ones to help patients and don’t involve the destruction of human life.
"Critics are right that there are other types of stem cells that might one day prove useful in fighting human disease. But as the field of stem cell research develops, it is not wise to bet that American scientists will be able to make large breakthroughs using only non-embryonic stem cells, which show less potential," the paper claimed.
However, President Bush isn’t likely going to flip-flop on his long-standing position on not using taxpayer’s money to destroy human life for research.
White House press secretary Tony Snow strongly defended the president’s stance in January and indicated he would still veto the funding bill.
"There’s quite often a regrettable implication that in opposing [embryonic] stem cell research — which, in the President’s view, involves the taking of a human life — that he shut off stem cell research," Snow explained. "As a matter of fact, we’ve spent unprecedented amounts of money looking at all forms of stem cell research."
"Furthermore, the President has not outlawed, as often as seemed to be alleged — he’s not outlawed embryonic stem cell research," Snow added
"States have set aside money for doing it. Individuals continue to provide venture capital for it. But the President believes that American taxpayers should not have to make the fateful decision of asking themselves, does this come at the price of a human life," he concluded.
The House of Representatives approved its bill in January and the Senate is expected to pass its version as well, but the House vote was well short of the two-thirds vote needed to overturn a veto.