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Stem Cell Bill to Test Bush's Morals Once Again

April 9, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The bill to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is going to beat the war-funding supplemental in becoming the first vetoed bill of the 110th Congress. It is scheduled to be voted on later this week and vetoed soon thereafter.

This bill has already been vetoed once before. In the previous (109th) Congress, it was approved by the Republican-led House and Senate, but fell just short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a presidential veto.

Now, In the Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, the bill has been a high priority. It was assigned the number H.R.3, and was approved by the House during their first 100 legislative hours.

Here is President Bush on vetoing the same bill last year:

>"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said Wednesday afternoon. “It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect. So I vetoed it.”

MIchael Sandel, a Harvard professor and member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, published an interesting article in the Boston Globe over the weekend, questioning whether President Bush has a leg to stand on when judging this “moral boundary”:

>…it is a striking feature of the president’s position that, while restricting the funding of embryonic stem cell research, he has made no effort to ban it. To adapt a slogan from the Clinton administration, the Bush policy might be summarized as “don’t fund, don’t ban.” But this policy is at odds with the notion that embryos are human beings.
>
>If harvesting stem cells from a blastocyst were truly on a par with harvesting organs from a baby, then the morally responsible policy would be to ban it, not merely deny it federal funding. If some doctors made a practice of killing children to get organs for transplantation, no one would take the position that the infanticide should be ineligible for federal funding but allowed to continue in the private sector. In fact, if we were persuaded that embryonic stem cell research were tantamount to infanticide, we would not only ban it but treat it as a grisly form of murder and subject scientists who performed it to criminal punishment.

Definitely worth reading in its entirety. If the President insists on being completely out of touch with Congress on this issue two sessions in a row, it should be expected that people will begin to question the superiority of his moral logic.

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