by Steven Ertelt
April 3, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life organization is actively lobbying against a bill in the U.S. Senate that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. National Right to Life sent a letter to senators on Monday asking them to vote against the measure because tax dollars shouldn’t pay for research which destroys human life.
The measure, S. 5, has been introduced by pro-abortion Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, and would mandate federal funding of the type of stem cell research that would require the killing of human embryos.
NRLC says it "is strongly opposed to the policy imposed by S. 5" and will record the vote in its listings of pro-life votes during the current session of Congress.
The group says the Reid bill "incorporates the same objectionable provisions that were found" in a bill President Bush vetoed last year. It says Reid has added some provisions promoting alternative forms of research but they don’t mitigate the concerns over using taxpayer monies to pay for destroying human life.
"S. 5 would require federal funding of research projects using stem cells taken from human embryos who are alive today, and who would be killed by the very act of removing their stem cells for the research," NRLC adds.
The pro-life group explains that there are many types of stem cell research that are worthwhile and that do not raise ethical objections.
"Stem cells can be obtained without killing human embryos, from umbilical cord blood and from many types of "adult" (non-embryonic) tissue," the group says.
"Already, humans with at least 72 different diseases and conditions have received therapeutic benefit from treatment with such "adult" stem cells," National Right to Life explained. "In contrast, embryonic stem cells have not been tested in humans for any purpose because of the dangers demonstrated in animal studies, including frequent formation of tumors."
The group also adds that the argument that the human embryos destroyed in the research will be killed anyway, but it points to the growing phenomenon of embryo adoption — a process increasingly used by couples who have tired of waiting for a traditional adoption.
NRLC also explains that funding embryonic stem cell research will just lead to human cloning and will result in what President Bush has appropriately called "human embryo farms."
The group urged senators to support a bill introduced by Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback and Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana that would prohibit human cloning for both reproductive and research purposes.
With Democrats in control of the Senate, the bill, S. 1036, is not expected to get a vote.
The Senate is expected to debate the embryonic funding bill and an alternative measure promoting more ethical research on April 10 and vote the next day.
The House has already approved its version of the funding measure and President Bush has renewed his commitment to veto the final bill once it reaches his desk. The Senate may wind up with enough votes to override the veto but the House appears likely to be a few dozen short.
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 https://www.senate.gov
Related web sites:
National Right to Life – https://www.nrlc.org