Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Stem Cell Policy Change Likely After Bush

Stem Cell Policy Change Likely After Bush Wednesday, 07 May 2008 Seven years after President Bush blocked most federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, the controversial science is likely to get a fresh look from the next President, no matter who it is. All three candidates left, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, have voted in favour of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would have provided federal funding for stem cell research, including research using embryonic stem cells left over from fertility treatments. The bill was passed twice by the US congress in 2006 and 2007, but was vetoed both times by President Bush. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton both would overturn Bush's restrictions on the research quickly. Senator Hillary Clinton has several times during her campaign said she will immediately overturn President Bush’s executive order restricting the embryonic stem cell research. It is still slightly more uncertain how fast Senator Barack Obama will act, if he becomes president in January next year. Senator John McCain will, however, be under great pressure from pro-life and conservative groups to change his position on this issue, even though the Arizona Senator twice voted for legislation that would have lifted the limits Bush imposed. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, based originally on a bill from Rep. Diana DeGette, Democrat from Colorado, would have allowed federal dollars to flow toward research on stem cell lines using embryos left over from in vitro fertilization, intended for disposal and donated by the parents. "I knew it was only a matter of time," DeGette said of the likely change to The Denver Post. "But I don't think anymore in this climate it's just enough to reverse the stem cell executive order." DeGette on Thursday will chair a House subcommittee hearing on stem cell research advances. DeGette plans to introduce a new stem cell bill, partly because of those advances and partly to lay the groundwork for the new president. She will propose the new legislation will direct federal researchers to launch a "Manhattan Project"-type effort on all stem cell research. The Denver Democrat also wants the National Institutes of Health to create an ethics panel on stem cell science. DeGette plans to introduce the bill later this year only to assess the support for it, not to press for its passage. "After two vetoes, President Bush will not sign my bill," she said to The Denver Post. So far, Senator Hillary Clinton has been the candidate who has expressed the strongest and longest support for embryonic stem cell research. The Candidates Views on Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Hillary Rodham Clinton: "It's time to unlock the potential of stem cell research and put an end to the backwards and restrictive policies of this administration," Clinton said. "Our scientists have been set back years in the race for life-saving cures because they've been held back by a narrow ideology that rejects sound science. As President, I will lift the ban on ethical embryonic stem cell research and allow our scientists to pursue treatments that could help millions of Americans." Clinton Pledges to Lift Ban on Stem Cell Research as President 6/15/2007 Barack Obama: Fact Sheet on Investing in Science: Advance Stem Cell Research: Despite recent advances pointing to alternatives like adult stem cell and cord blood, embryonic stem cells remain unmatched in their potential for treatment of a wide variety of diseases and health conditions. Barack Obama has been a long-term supporter of increased stem cell research. He introduced legislation while a member of the Illinois Senate that would allow embryonic stem cell research in Illinois. Obama has cosponsored legislation to allow greater federal government funding on a wider array of stem cell lines. Obama believes we need high ethical standards that allow for research on stem cells derived from embryos produced for in vitro fertilization, embryos that would otherwise be needlessly destroyed. John McCain: McCain has reaffirmed his support for embryonic stem cell research, which he said has split abortion foes. "It's very tough for those of us in the pro-life community," McCain told reporters. "I've prayed a lot about it, but I've come down on the side of support for embryonic stem cell research. It has split the pro-life community." September 17, 2007 statement to reporters (Published in The Boston Globe). Legislation: All three candidates voted in favour of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would have provided federal funding for stem cell research, including research using embryonic stem cells left over from fertility treatments. The bill was passed twice by the US congress in 2006 and 2007, but was vetoed both times by President Bush. ......... ZenMaster


For more on stem cells and cloning, go to CellNEWS at http://cellnews-blog.blogspot.com/ and http://www.geocities.com/giantfideli/index.html

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