How unnerving to find oneself aligned with four persons the sound of whose very names leaves us gasping for air. John Kerry, Ed Kennedy, Hillary! and Tom Harkin are among 58 senators who "are asking President Bush to relax federal restrictions on stem cell* research," reports Yahoo! News:
Several said Monday that the late President Reagan's Alzheimer's disease underscored a need to expand the research using human embryos . . . Last month, Nancy Reagan appeared at a fund-raising dinner in Los Angeles to promote stem cell research.
"We would very much like to work with you to modify the current embryonic stem cell policy so that it provides this area of research the greatest opportunity to lead to the treatments and cures for which we are all hoping," the senators wrote Bush.
The letter was signed by 43 Democrats, the Senate's one independent and 14 Republicans, among them conservatives who oppose abortion. In April, 206 House members sent a similar letter to Bush.
Stem cells typically are taken from days-old human embryos and then grown in a laboratory into lines or colonies. Because the embryos are destroyed when the cells are extracted, the process is opposed by some conservatives who link it to abortion . . . Bush signed an executive order in August 2001 limiting federal research funding for stem cell research to 78 embryonic stem cell lines then in existence.
But, as InstaPundit noted a couple of months back re Harvard's proposed new center for stem cell research , while the federal government doesn't fund this sort of research, "it's not illegal, though some people would like for it to be":
Note, too, this article saying that U.S. researchers are losing their edge in stem cell research because of the federal funding ban.
Antitechnology sentiment has seriously damaged Europe's biotechnology industry. Since I'd rather not see that happen here, I'm glad to see non-government sources stepping up to the plate.
We are too.
*Stem cell definitions and bioethical implications.