Senate Will Debate Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding April 10

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Will Debate Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding April 10 Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 30
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — The Senate has finally scheduled a debate and vote on a bill that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. The April 10 vote will include two measures — both the funding bill similar to the one President Bush vetoed last year and an alternative measure seeking different ways of obtaining stem cells.

The main bill, S. 5, is legislation that would mandate federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of days-old unborn children for their stem cells.

Pro-life groups strongly oppose the bill because it involves the destruction of human life and they say more ethical and effective alternatives are available such as adult stem cell research, which has already helped patients.

They say it’s wrong to kill human beings for research and to save some lives by destroying others.

The alternative bill — sponsored by Republican Sens. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Johnny Isakson of Georgia — would encourage federal funding for research into new ways to obtain different kinds of stem cells, without harming human embryos in the process.

Coleman previously told Roll Call magazine that their bill “doesn’t cross the moral line” by funding embryonic stem cell research and would, instead, allow funding of adult stem cells and other alternatives.

He said that with the president committing to veto the embryonic funding bill again, Congress should look to other measures like his.

In an email to, Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of National Right to Life, said the proposal hasn’t been finalized yet for his group analyze.

"However, a draft version that has recently circulated contained nothing to which NRLC would object," he said.

Debate on the bills will begin on the 10th and votes on both are expected on April 11.

Last year, the House and Senate approved the embryonic funding bills and President Bush vetoed the final version of the measure. The House failed to override the veto and the Senate didn’t vote but was just short of the two-thirds vote needed to override.

The November elections gave funding backers more votes and the Senate appears to have enough votes to override a veto but the House is still short — it already voted on its version of the new bill, which it approved on a 253-174 vote in January.

Once Congress sends the funding bill to the president, Bush has promised to veto the measure. The Senate would then take up an override veto and, if successful, the House would try to follow suit.

ACTION: Please contact your U.S. senators over the next two weeks and urge them to oppose S. 5, the bill to force taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. You can reach any senator at 202-224-3121 or find specific contact information by going to