Today President Bush pulled out his veto pen for the first time to reject a bill to provide Federal tax money to pay for embryonic stem cell research.
This is a good thing, not only because embryonic stem cell harvesting involves the destruction of human life, but also because the research is bogus science.
Adult stem cells, harvested from living adults without requiring that they be killed in the process, are currently used to cure 80 different diseases. There are 1175 clinical trials on humans currently underway, leading to additional uses of adult stem cells. By comparison, embryonic stem cells have zero, zilch, nada. Not one disease has ever been cured using embryonic stem cells. They haven't even gotten as far as clinical trials on humans. Why not? Two main reasons: embryonic cells tend to be rejected by the immune system, and they tend to cause malignancies called teratomas, meaning "monster tumors."
The only advantage that embryonic stem cells claimed over adult stem cells was their ability to transform into any type of cell. However, as of 2002, researchers have been able to achieve the same thing with adult stem cells, converting adult stem cells into all three kinds of cells that the body produces during early embryonic development. There is no evidence that embryonic stem cells could ever have helped Michael J Fox, Christopher Reeve, or Ronald Reagan, but last year a South Korean woman who had been paralyzed for nineteen years due to a spinal cord injury began to walk again with the help of a walker. It was not embryonic stem cells which brought about this cure, but an injection of umbilical cord stem cells into the injured part of her spine. Before that, two women paralyzed by spinal cord injuries were treated with adult stem cells in Portugal. Both regained feeling and movement, and one began to walk with braces.
One third of the members of the House of Representatives cast votes for using tax dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research AND voted against a different bill to fund other stem cell research which does not require the death of the cell donor. It seems that there are certain people who only want this research if it involves killing human embryos. And thus the real agenda of embryonic stem cell research advocates is revealed.
Adult stem cell research has produced numerous cures which are in use today, and they did it without large amounts of government money. There is plenty of private sector money being invested in such research. You see, private investors demand results and put their money where it is most likely to provide a positive return. Thus, adult stem cell research is well funded by the private sector, leaving the hapless embryonic stem cell researchers rooting at the public trough. While the privately funded adult stem cell researchers were busy curing diseases, embryonic stem cell research advocates were whipping up a huge PR campaign, making extravagant promises of miraculous cures. But if there was anything behind these promises, private investors would be clamoring to fund the research.
In the end, there is no scientifically sound reason to think that embryonic stem cells will ever cure any disease which could not more easily be cured by other stem cells which are not harvested at the cost of a human life. The only reason that Democrats advocate using tax dollars to fund this pseudo-scientific research is that it is their last fleeting hope of creating the illusion that killing babies has some benefit to society. Of course, by that logic, the Holocaust was justified: the Nazis experimented on their victims too.