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Stem Cell Research Legislation Up for Senate Debate

A bill that would allow for extensive federal funding to go towards stem cell research is up for a Senate vote this month. Discussion of the bill could begin as early as next week. The three-part legislation, named “The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act” would allow for testing of embryos from fertility clinics that would have otherwise been discarded. The two other sections of the legislation would ban fetal farming, where embryos are implanted in women to harvest cells, according to USA Today.

The same bill passed in the House of Representatives in May 2005. President Bush, an opponent of stem cell research, has threatened to use his power of veto if the legislation passes in the Senate. Some Republican lawmakers have broken away from the White House’s view on stem cell research because of its potential, but it is unclear if there is enough support to overturn the president’s veto with a two-thirds vote. Some scientists believe life-threatening diseases would be addressed or cured from stem cell research, such as diabetes, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

“It would be a terrible disservice to the American people, the hopes of millions, that President Bush would veto this,” said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, according to Reuters.

Sources:

USA Today 7/11/06; Herald Tribune 7/12/06; Reuters 7/11/06

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