Some conservative states at odds with Obama, stem cell research

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stemcellsNot surprisingly, a number of states — many of them conservative — are at odds with the easing of stem cell research restrictions put into effect by President Obama ealier this week. Currently Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota and South Carolina have bills that would impact stem cell research.

As reported by AP

While Louisiana already bans the destruction of fertilized embryos, the courts have not yet weighed in, Charo said.

In Georgia, a measure that would ban some forms of stem cell research on fertilized embryos is moving quickly through the state Senate. The bill would outlaw the destruction of fertilized embryos, which the legislation defines as a person. It is expected to face a vote in the full state Senate on Thursday.

Similar “personhood” measures have cleared one chamber each in Montana and North Dakota.

They come in the wake of a Colorado ballot initiative that said human life begins at conception. It failed to win voter approval last year.

David Prentice, senior fellow for life sciences at the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, said Obama’s announcement Monday that he will free federal funds for embryonic stem cell research will rally conservatives.

“This is the beginning,” Prentice said. “I think there will be more to come.”

Many would suggest that any state that hampers or bans stem cell research shouldn’t be able to enjoy the fruits of its research. While I certainly wouldn’t go that far, the state should be penalized in some way without harming its constituents.

The true irony here is that nearly half of those states have some of the highest rates of heart disease and incidences of diabetes in the nation. Chronic conditions that could easily be reduced by breakthroughs in stem cell research.

It brings back that tired but true refrain “always voting against one’s self interest.”

Post by ILO on 03/11/09 at 4:42 pm