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stem cell

From: Candace Smith <candace4modeling@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007 22:03:42 -0700
Message-ID: <461DBDAE.4C89@yahoo.com>
To: public-ws-desc-meps@w3.org

Senate passes stem-cell funding bill

Story Highlights

? 63 votes in favor will not be enough to override promised veto
? Bush resists funding research that destroys living human embryos
? Stem cells hold promise for treatment of variety of conditions
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate approved a measure that would roll back
President Bush's 2001 limits on embryonic stem-cell research Wednesday
afternoon, but the margin was short of the two-thirds needed to override
a promised veto.

Bush used the only veto of his presidency to date to kill a 2006 effort
to loosen his policy on stem-cell research, which bars the use of
federal funding for work that
would destroy human embryos. 

In a statement issued after Wednesday's 63-34 vote, he said he would
veto the new bill as well, saying it "crosses a moral line that I and
many others find

"I believe this will encourage taxpayer money to be spent on the
destruction or endangerment of living human embryos -- raising serious
moral concerns for millions
of Americans," he said.

But the president said he would sign a Republican alternative that would
encourage other forms of stem-cell research without changing his 2001
policy. That
measure passed by a 70-28 vote.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Republican bill was aimed at
providing "cover" for lawmakers who wanted to vote against a popular

"Americans, by a huge majority, favor stem-cell research because they
see the suffering of their own friends and relatives and neighbors. ...
They put their faith in
science," said Reid, D-Nevada.

The measure passed Wednesday would allow researchers to obtain stem
cells from embryos created for in vitro fertilization that would
otherwise be discarded by
fertility clinics. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in
January, but it also fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to
override a veto.

One of the Senate bill's principal sponsors, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin,
said the bill had the support of three senators who did not vote
Wednesday, meaning
supporters were just one vote shy of the 67 needed to override a veto.

"It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," Harkin said.

In 2001, Bush limited the use of federal research funds to work on
stem-cell lines that existed at that time. Researchers have since found
those lines are
contaminated and unusable, prompting calls to roll back the

Scientists hope that stem cells will yield treatments for diseases such
as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes, as well as spinal-cord
injuries. But because days-old
human embryos are destroyed when the cells are extracted, critics equate
the procedure to abortion.

Abortion opponents such as Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, equated the use
of embryonic stem-cell research to slavery.

"Its end is the way of death," said Brownback, a Republican presidential
hopeful. "It kills a young human life. It harms us as a culture when we
treat human life as
property. We've done that. We don't like it. We don't like the history
associated with it."

Fourteen other Republicans supported the bill, while two Democrats --
Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Robert Casey of Pennsylvania -- voted
against it. Utah Sen.
Orrin Hatch, a staunch opponent of abortion rights, was one Republican
who supported the bill.

Received on Thursday, 12 April 2007 05:03:53 GMT

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