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GOP schism on stem cells

Much is being made over Bill Frist's decision to support enhanced federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

The truth is that the GOP was never of one mind on this issue, but Frist's departure from Bush policy will highlight the Republicans' internal debate and bring it into sharp focus.

I think this is a good thing. I personally know more people who voted against Bush because of stem cells than because of the war in Iraq. Granted, some of this is due to the fact that Bush's opponents have been allowed to spin Bush policy as a "ban," but there is still widespread agreement that current guidelines are too restrictive.

Interestingly, I get more heat from libertarians than social conservatives for my support of ESC research. I understand a libertarian case can be made against funding such endeavors, but let's be honest, that's not what's going on here. The libertarian argument isn't even on the radar. So long as federal funding of basic biotech research is a fact of life (and it is) I support funding those areas in proportion to the promise they show in treating disease. That, in addition to the political reasons, is why I'd like to see Frist come out the winner on this one.


The most interesting thing about this for me is that I thought Frist was courting the Christian Right and I don't know how big support of federally funded ESC research is going to go over in that group considering that certain segments of that group want the birth control pill outlawed.

Well the fact that even Frist switched positions clearly shows the very poor judgement of Bush on something so important as stem cell research. This administration is to a certain degree controlled by religious fanatics who have been blocking stem cell research. It is remarkable that this is happening in this century. How can you trust a president to make correct decisions on any issue, when he is controlled by religious fanatics and does not support medical research?

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