Thursday, June 30, 2005

Pro-life groups switch strategy, hoping to secure veto on stem cells

"Several leading conservative advocacy groups are revising their strategy on embryonic-stem-cell research by backing an up-or-down vote on a bill to expand federal funding in a shift that could force President Bush to issue his first veto.

"Pro-life conservative groups have brought considerable pressure to bear on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to scuttle legislation that would lift restrictions on federal spending on the research that Bush put in place in 2001. But some groups have decided to test Bush's vow to veto the bill and lifted their opposition to allowing the legislation to reach the Senate floor—where it is expected to pass with a significant majority." ...

"Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a physician who is pro-life and staunchly opposes allowing additional funding of embryonic-stem-cell research, is threatening to filibuster it, among other things.

"'He is considering offering several amendments … [and] an old-fashioned filibuster,' his spokesman John Hart said. Coburn might read aloud on the Senate floor 'thousands' of accounts of people treated with therapies derived from adult stem-cell research, which he maintains has been proved effective without venturing into ethically touchy areas."

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