Presidential Candidates Largely Support Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Presidential Candidates Largely Support Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 12
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Candidates on both sides of the political aisle largely supported a bill on Wednesday that would force taxpayers to pay for embryonic stem cell research. All of the Democratic candidates for president voted for or supported the bill while Republican candidates were split on the issue.

Looking at the Democratic side, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, the two leaders, both voted for the embryonic funding bill.

They were joined in voting for the bill by Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and would have had Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut with them for the bill as well but was absent from the Senate on Wednesday.

However, the Democrats split on an alternative measure that would have the federal government look for ways to obtain embryonic stem cells for research without taking human lives in the process.

Clinton and Obama voted against the alternative bill and joined with other senators who criticized pro-life lawmakers for introducing it saying it was "political cover" for those who don’t want to fund embryonic stem cell research.

But Biden voted for the alternative measure, which the Senate approved with 70 bipartisan votes.

On the GOP side, Senators Sam Brownback of Kansas and John McCain of Arizona were the only presidential candidates voting.

Brownback not only voted against the embryonic funding bill but he was the leading senator on the floor debating against it. He said he strongly supports adult stem cell research which as been the only kind to actually help patients.

McCain, though he opposes abortion, has always supported embryonic stem cell research funding and voted Wednesday to make taxpayers fund it.

Both McCain and Brownback voted for the alternative bill to seek more ethical forms of research.