June 8, 2007

President's Theology Limiting Medical Research

The Secular Coalition for America has issued an excellent press release (which I am reproducing in its entirety below) pointing out what is at stake with the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. This is the same issue they recently took up by asking us to e-mail President Bush to urge him not to veto this bill. What I really like about this press release is how it frames the issue as Bush imposing his theology on all Americans by impeding medical research that could benefit us all. I believe that this is an accurate and terrifying characterization.

“It is Cruel for the President’s Theology to Influence Medical Research”
President Bush: Sign the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act - Do not Impede Medical Research
Statement by Secular Coalition for America Director Lori Lipman Brown
Washington, DC – June 7, 2007 -- The Secular Coalition for America strongly urges President Bush to sign the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (S.5), which passed the House today. Medical experts agree that embryonic stem cell research has great potential to help alleviate or even cure many devastating medical conditions.

Last year, President Bush falsely equated each embryo with “unique human life with inherent dignity,” and claimed that stem cell research supported “the taking of human life.” In fact, the stem cells used in medical research are actually taken from blastocysts, spheres of 100-200 cells five to six days after fertilization of a human egg. Imbuing such collections of cells with the qualities of an individual fully formed person, is a theological position, not a scientific or medical one.

The Secular Coalition for America believes it is cruel for the President's personal theology to dictate the limits of medical research.

The President now has a chance to allow the National Institutes of Health to use the most promising materials in its research. These excess cells, developed during in vitro fertilization procedures, are scheduled to be destroyed. The Secular Coalition for America calls on the President to allow these cells to be diverted away from the trash bin, and towards what may prove to be lifesaving uses.

According to recent polls the majority of Americans support the use of embryonic stem cell research. The Secular Coalition for America joins with the majority of the members of both houses of Congress and with the majority of Americans, when we ask of President Bush to please not allow his personal religious belief to interfere with advances which may someday lead to the alleviation of tremendous human suffering.
If you have not already contacted Bush about this important issue, please consider doing so now.

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