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Anti-Abortion Policy Continues to Overshadow Science in Stem Cell Decision

The Bush administration is playing abortion politics again in the debate over stem cell research. Bush’s announcement on August 9 to allow federal funding for research only on the 64 lines already in existence, obscured the fact that approximately 30 of these lines that were not fully developed. These lines, referred to as “robust” and “viable” by Health and Human Services Director Tommy Thompson, are now being questioned as to their ability to become fully developed stem cells. This new development has led to criticism of Bush’s decision by many researchers who agree that even if all 64 fully develop, it will not be enough to provide them with a full understanding of the benefits of stem cell research. Bush and Thompson have expressed concerns about using human embryos for this research, despite the fact the embryos used are from fertility clinics, and otherwise would be discarded.

Sources:

New York Times - September 7, 2001