Conservatives Come Out for Stem Cell Research

The ranks of conservative Republicans now supporting medical research using cells collected from human embryos is increasing. While President Bush considers whether to fund stem cell research, which is fiercely opposed by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and anti-abortion groups, prominent anti-abortion Republicans claim it is possible to be both “pro-life” and “pro-stem cell.”

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who studied the issue for two years, claims “stem cell research facilitates life.” He also argued “the most pro-life position would be to help people who suffer from these maladies.” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has also expressed his support for stem cell research.

Some 100 million people suffer from conditions that could be aided by developments in stem cell research.

Though President Bush has also voiced his opposition to “federal funding for stem cell research that involves destroying living human embryos,” Senator Hatch claims there seems to be no other choice. As Hatch argued, “why shouldn’t we use these cells for the benefit of mankind?”


The Washington Post-July 2, 2001

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