Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

Senate passes stem-cell bill but veto threat looms

April 12, 2007


— A stubborn Senate voted Wednesday to ease restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, ignoring President Bush's threat of a second veto on legislation designed to lead to new medical treatments.

The 63-34 vote was shy of the margin that would be needed to enact the measure over presidential opposition, despite gains made by supporters in last fall's elections.

"Not every day do we have the opportunity to vote to heal the sick," said Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a senator less than 100 days following a tough 2006 campaign in which the stem cell controversy played a particularly prominent role. "It is a noble cause," she added.

The House, which passed similar legislation earlier in the year, is expected to adopt the Senate's version in the next several weeks for Bush's veto.

The Senate bill, Bush said, "is very similar to legislation I vetoed last year. This bill crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling. If it advances all the way through Congress to my desk, I will veto it," the president said in a statement after the vote.

Despite the criticism, the bill's chief sponsor urged the president to give the bill another look. "I urge him to reconsider this bill and sign it. Unleash America's scientists," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

Capping two days of debate, the Senate also voted 70-28 to pass a separate measure backed by Republicans. It supported research in adult stem cells.

Bush said this legislation builds on "ethically appropriate research" and he urged Congress to pass the measure "so stem cell science can progress, without ethical and cultural conflict."

The Senate's action was the latest act in a drama that blends science and politics on an issue that affects millions of disease sufferers and their families.

"It's extremely frustrating to go through this Kabuki dance a second time with the president," said Peter Kiernan, head of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which funds research.

"The one thing we know is we will outlast him."

Stem cells are created in the first days after conception. They are typically culled from frozen embryos, which are destroyed in the process. According to the National Institutes of Health Web site, scientists have been able to conduct experiments with embryonic stem cells only since 1998.

The embryonic stem cells have the ability to transform into a "dazzling array of specialized cells," the Web site says - the property that scientists and others say offers the potential for the development of treatment for diseases as varied as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.


Agnostick 7 years ago

Oh, and the form I suggested above would be 100% voluntary; fertility clinics would not be mandated to offer it, and/or couples would not be mandated to fill one out.



Agnostick 7 years ago

opinion, for the benefit of you and anyone else who may have never found themselves married, wanting children, and physically unable to have them...

Embryo transfer

Main article: Embryo transfer

Embryos are graded by the embryologist based on the number of cells, evenness of growth and degree of fragmentation. The number to be transferred depends on the number available, the age of the woman and other health and diagnostic factors. In countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand, a maximum of two embryos are transferred except in unusual circumstances. This is to limit the number of multiple pregnancies. The embryos judged to be the "best" are transferred to the patient's uterus through a thin, plastic catheter, which goes through her vagina and cervix. Several embryos may be passed into the uterus to improve chances of implantation and pregnancy.


BOTTOM LINE: In IVF procedures, there are generally more fertilized embryos than are necessary... sometimes as many as seven or eight. If only the two "best" ones are to be implanted... what happens to the remainder? NOTE: Just because they're "leftover," doesn't mean they are "poor quality."

This is a nagging little fact that illogical extremists like STRS often close their minds, eyes, ears and hearts to.

My suggestion?

REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES, INC. 456 Springfield Avenue Anytown, USA 12345-6789


"The IVF process almost always results in a number of fertilized eggs that will not be implanted in the woman's uterus. Knowing this, what would you like done with these extra embryos? (Check one)"

__ Please humanely destroy them

__ Please donate them to a stem cell research facility

__ We would like to discuss the cryogenic preservation process, for future use.

__ We would like to discuss donating them to another infertile couple

What would be so bad about that?



Porter 7 years ago

Does anyone know where we can find the names of the 34 senators that hate kids with diabetes, CF, or other debilitating illnesses?

What's even crazier is that 28 Senators voted against the bill to allow research on ADULT stem cells! Am I missing something?? Why would anyone vote against that?


scenebooster 7 years ago

Thank you to the 34 senators who voted against killing human embryos, and continuing the suffering of those already born folks with terminal diseases.


opinion 7 years ago

Where in this article or in SettingTheRecordStraight post is it stated that tossing embryos in the trash is OK?


Agnostick 7 years ago

nutcase, where's your pointless rhetoric, narrowmindedness, and hateful spewage?

Don't bother with logic 'round here...



nutcase 7 years ago

But tossing embryos in trash is OK?


SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years ago

Thank you to the 34 senators who voted against killing human embryos.


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