In a 247-176 bipartisan vote, the House today passed a bill that would allow federal funding of stem cell research utilizing donated human embryos. If signed into law, this bill would offer people with serious illnesses and life-threatening conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries the chance for a better life. The Senate passed a similar bill in April, reflecting the fact that an overwhelming majority of the public supports this research.
According to a recent poll, 62 percent of people in the U.S. approve of medical research using embryonic stem cells, and nearly 60 percent want more taxpayer money to be used for this promising line of research. President Bush’s 2005 veto of similar legislation and his current threat to veto this bipartisan measure exposes his willingness to pander to his ultra-conservative supporters, regardless of the price the public will pay.
“Women are the majority of family caregivers, and the heartbreak of having a loved one with a debilitating illness and the related burden of their care could both be lifted with this bill,” said NOW President Kim Gandy. “Although George W. Bush seems stubbornly bent on pleasing his right-wing base, we urge him not to choose religious and political extremism over medical progress.”
NOW thanks members of the House and Senate for their bipartisan support. “We must continue to change the face of politics so that our leaders will put our health, our families and our well-being at the top of the nation’s priorities,” said Gandy.