Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2005, with Markus Grompe. Reprinted in Human Life Review 31:2 (Spring 2005).
The House of Representatives recently passed legislation to loosen President Bush’s restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. The president has promised to veto the bill, however, and the legislation lacks the support of a veto-proof majority. So regardless of what happens in the Senate, it is clear that, at least until 2009, there will be no federal money for research involving stem cells derived from embryos destroyed after Aug. 9, 2001. Americans are divided as to whether this is good or bad, but it is the one thing about which there is now no debate.
President Bush’s veto need not mean that new embryonic or embryonic-type stem-cell lines eligible for federal funding cannot be developed, however. The President’s Council on Bioethics, in a recent White Paper, identified several possible methods for producing such lines that do not require the destruction or harming of living human embryos. There is good scientific reason to believe that this can be done using existing biotechnologies. These possibilities point the way towards a resolution of our nation’s divisive debate over embryonic stem-cell harvesting — one that can be embraced in good conscience by people on both sides of the ethical divide….
Wall Street Journal