Mike Castle’s Loss Drops Embryonic Stem Cell Funding Advocate From Congress

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 15, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mike Castle’s Loss Drops Embryonic Stem Cell Funding Advocate From Congress

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 15
, 2010

Dover, DE (LifeNews.com) — Delaware Congressman Mike Castle lost his bid to become the Republican Senate nominee to a pro-life candidate, Christine O’Donnell. With the defeat, the pro-life movement makes a huge gain by ridding itself of one of its top proponents of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.

While most Republicans take pro-life positions on abortion and embryonic stem cell research, Castle is pro-abortion — though he has voted for some limits.

But it is Castle’s unyielding advocacy of embryonic stem cell research funding that has made him a household name among pro-life advocates.

Castle has repeatedly sponsored legislation that would open the door to not only killing so-called "leftover" human embryos for their stem cells for research but allowing scientists to specifically create human embryos for the sole purpose of destroying them.

Castle worked closely with pro-abortion Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, to push legislation that would supposedly codify the executive order President Barack Obama issued to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. But their desire is to go further and to overturn the Dickey-Wicker amendment that is the reason a federal judge used to invalidate Obama’s order when considering a lawsuit against it.

The defeat of Castle is a huge victory for pro-life advocates, says Dr. David Prentice, a former Indiana State University biology professor who is now a fellow at the Family Research Council.

"Congressman Castle has been a leader of legislative efforts promoting taxpayer funding for embryo destructive research as well as cloning of human embryos for experiments," he told LifeNews.com today. "Perhaps his defeat by a pro-life candidate will give Mr. Castle an opportunity to re-think his positions."

Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, the pro-life leader in the House of Representatives, has been a frequent opponent of Castle’s.

He said earlier this year that Castle’s bills would have "Congress to say that the new guinea pig will be human embryos" and "Americans will find that highly offensive."

"This sets the stage for an attack on the Dickey-Wicker law," he said of Castle’s bill at the time. "Any member of Congress who votes for legislation to repeal this law is voting to allow federal funding of human embryo farms, created through the use of human cloning."

On abortion, Castle’s voting record shows negligible support for laws protecting the unborn. He voted for the Foreign Relations Authorization Act which funds abortion overseas through the Office of Global Women’s Issues and supported the public funding of abortion in the District of Columbia.


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