A Rant

Each time I complain about official Republican policy on stem cells, someone comments or emails to tell me that “the President only wants to limit government funding of stem cell research.” And each time I read one of those comments, I sighed and thought, “We’ll see.”


Well, here’s what I see tonight:

Leon Kass, chairman of the President’s Bioethics Council, is stepping down and will be replaced by Georgetown University bioethicist Edmund Pellegrino.


Pellegrino has been active in the national political debate over various biotech developments. For example, he participated in a press conference sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) in 1999 opposing all human embryonic stem cell research. At the press conference, Pellegrino urged that a congressional ban “should be extended permanently to include privately supported as well as federally supported research involving the production and destruction of living human embryos.” [emphasis added]

And with that, I think we know where President Bush really stands on stem cell research. Some of you will be delighted by that news, and others like myself will be disgusted.


I understand why pro-life people are so upset by fetal stem cell research, but let’s get something straight here. If there’s a woman out there considering an abortion, her decision will not be based on the promise of medical research. The fact that some fetuses can (or rather, could) be used, is perhaps the only positive thing to come out of a very bad situation. But anyone who thinks there’s an army of women getting themselves impregnated then gleefully having abortions for The Cause


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