Sunday, July 23, 2006

Chicago Sun Times Editorial - Stem cell veto a mistake

Chicago Sun Times Editorial - Stem cell veto a mistake
Copyright by The Chicago Sun Times
July 23, 2006

It was his moral beliefs that prompted President Bush to exercise the first veto of his presidency against the expansion of federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. But it is lamentable he wasn't able to put aside his own qualms and respond to the majority of Americans who favor this research.

Regardless of the president's actions, this kind of science will progress. After Bush announced his veto, Gov. Blagojevich put more money in the state's coffers for stem cell research in Illinois, and California gave a $150 million loan to the California Regenerative Medicine Institute to continue its work in this field.

The reason so many Americans favor this kind of science is that stem cells from days-old human embryos -- no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence -- can be transformed into many different types of cells, and therefore lead to possible cures for chronic illnesses such as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

The potential is so enormous that the boon of federal funding would have quickened the progress of the research. And despite his moral objections, the president's veto will not stop the hundreds of human embryos in fertility clinics from being destroyed each year because they are no longer needed. It would be much better if they could be donated for federally funded research.


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