Pro-Life Advocates Focused on Senate Embryonic Stem Cell Research Vote

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

Pro-Life Advocates Focused on Senate Embryonic Stem Cell Research Vote Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 9
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life groups across the country are focused on a vote in the U.S. Senate this week on legislation forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. They oppose the bill because the research requires the destruction of days-old unborn children for their stem cells for studies.

"Just as abortion is currently legal, sadly, killing human embryos is completely legal. As a result, this week’s debate is really about federal funding," the Family Research Council told its members in an email received.

"We don’t federally fund abortion even though it is legal. Likewise, liberals should not force U.S. taxpayers to fund research that requires the killing of embryos," the group explained.

The Susan B. Anthony List, a leading pro-life political group, drew the same comparisons between abortion and embryonic stem cell research in an alert to its supporters.

"Tragically, the innocent unborn have no legal protection in our country. Like abortion, killing embryos in the name of science is legal," the group told "But that doesn’t mean you have to pay for it."

The bill also draws the opposition of both Christian organizations and a pro-life attorney’s group.

Phil Magnan, director of the Biblical Family Advocates, joined the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which issued statements last week opposing the bill.

"It makes absolutely no sense that the Senate would seek to fund research that is unproven, extremely costly and kills children who should be saved from dismemberment," Magnan said.

"Why should our tax dollars be used to kill others to find cures that are already found in adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells?" he added.

And Jay Sekulow, the lead attorney at the American Center for Law and Justice, says senators should be urged to support an alternative bill instead of S. 5., the embryonic funding measure.

"We support S. 30 – a measure that prohibits the creation of embryos for the purpose of research," he told in a statement. "We remain dedicated to protecting the sanctity of human life and that’s exactly what we’re determined to do. That is why we are urging lawmakers to defeat S. 5 and approve S. 30.”

The debate on the two bills is expected to begin Tuesday and senators are scheduled to vote on both of them Wednesday.

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