‘Prominent Conservatives’ Ask White House to Allow Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research
"Prominent conservative" Republican lawmakers are placing "increasing pressure" on President Bush to allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, despite qualms by some administration officials that supporting funding of such research will "alienat[e] the crucial Catholic vote," the Washington Post reports (Connolly, Washington Post, 7/2). NIH guidelines established during the Clinton administration would allow federal funding of the research -- which involves using a process to extract the stem cells from the embryos, thereby destroying the embryo -- as long as the extraction was carried out by private groups. But the Bush administration put that funding on hold in order to review the "scientific and ethical implications" of the research. "In an unlikely twist," antiabortion lawmakers such as Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) have "aggressively" lobbied the administration to support embryonic stem cell research, stating that "it is possible to be both 'pro-life' and
'pro-cell'" (Connolly, Washington Post, 7/2).