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Monday, September 04, 2006

Bob Casey Supports the Bush Policy on Stem Cell Research


Casey: I believe that being pro-life means the right to a decent life for a mother and her child before and after birth.

I am and I have always been pro-life.

I support the current federal policy on embryonic stem cell research and would oppose the Castle bill to expand federal support of embryonic stem cell research. I believe that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for those who have committed heinous crimes.

As a U.S. Senator, I will strongly support funding for stem cell research that doesn’t destroy an embryo. There are many promising techniques under development that don’t require destroying the embryo and there’s good reason to hope that soon we’ll be able to remove the politics from this issue.

I also strongly support increased federal funding for research on stem cells derived from adult cells, bone marrow and placentas — areas where tremendous progress has already been made.

Janet Robert should love him.

And isn't this interesting, Santorum is looking for a compromise policy on this.

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) yesterday called for federal funding of research that would involve creating an altered human embryo - one that could yield precious stem cells but not implant in a uterus.

Santorum, who has steadfastly opposed embryonic stem-cell research in the past, joined Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.), a vocal proponent of the research, in introducing a compromise bill on the politically popular issue.

The bill would require the National Institutes of Health to find and fund new methods for obtaining human embryonic stem cells in the hope of developing therapies.

Santorum said these methods would not involve destroying embryos and would be "non-controversial," but acknowledged that controversy may be unavoidable in such an ethically charged, uncharted scientific field.

"There are some who believe that... there is controversy around these new entities - these collections of cells - as to whether it is an embryo or not," Santorum said during a news conference at the University of Pennsylvania. "I feel comfortable, given all of the conversations I have had with a number of bioethicists, that these are appropriate steps to take."

The collaboration between the two senators comes at a crucial time for Santorum, who is in a tough reelection race for a third term against the likely Democratic nominee, State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr.

Casey, who is against abortion, supports federal funding only on existing embryonic stem-cell lines. He has called for more federal funding on research that does not involve destroying human embryos. Casey did not take a position on the bill yesterday, saying he needed more information.

By teaming with Specter, Santorum could gain leverage on an issue with particular appeal to voters in Southeastern Pennsylvania, a politically moderate, must-win area.

Specter has repeatedly said Santorum's reelection is his top priority because he "was indispensable in my victory two years ago."

"I am anxious to find every avenue I can to give him some political leverage which is consistent with my principles," Specter said.

Embryonic stem cells are "pluripotent" - meaning they give rise to all types of tissues in the body - and theoretically have tremendous potential to repair and regenerate tissues. Pluripotent stem cells exist only briefly in a three-day-old embryo, which is destroyed when the stem cells are removed.

Santorum, like some other abortion opponents, has opposed embryonic stem-cell research because he equates destruction of human embryos with murder.

Here's Casey's position on abortion.