Saturday, February 11, 2006

Broad Support For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Maryland Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele recently likened embryonic stem cell research to the Holocaust in front of a Jewish audience. Steele is a potential Republican senate candidate this year, but it seems hardly likely that this is the issue that's going to make the people of Maryland vote Red this November.

The Hill reports that 58% of Americans support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, while only 29% oppose it.

While the support level is actually lower than I expected, the opposition is pitifully small. This means than many less people are anti-stem cell research than anti-abortion. Moreover, it must be taken into account that a fair portion of the 29% are opposed to stem cell research for economic reasons rather than moral ones.

Blue state Republicans will soon discover that not only is there little pressure from their constituencies to be anti-stem cell research, but that they will be vulnerable to Democratic challengers if they fall in step with the GOP leadership in opposing the science that most Americans believe can lead to medical advances.

Right now President Bush can count on both houses of congress upholding a veto on stem cell legislation in the near future. However, future Republican presidents will likely find that they don't have the support of even a third of either house on the issue.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

The thing that bothers me about this debate is they way it is played in the partisan press. Up until President Bush made his policy announcement a few years back, there was ZERO federal funding for emryonic stem cell research. He decided that a compromise was in order, and that he would change policy to allow federal funding for research on embryonic lines that were already in existence.
The press has played this as if President Bush had outlawed the research, when in fact he has opened the doors for federal funds to flow toward it. How is paying for something not previously funded a ban?

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Fair point. I would guess that it wasn't a science that was up for much discussion during the Clinton years. I think it only recently emerged as a potential lifesaving research, and therefore Bush was the first president to take a stance on it.

- Jersey Perspective


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