Friday, August 04, 2006

Those Important Stem Cells in Politics

I read a recent poll that said that 75% of Americans are for stem cell research. Apparently, most Americans understand that doing scientific research on stem cells increases the possibility of finding treatments and cures for diseases. Unfortunately, some politicians are against it.

Newsweek profiles the difficulty that Republican Sen. Jim Talent is having in Missouri because of his opposition to stem cell research. Here is an excerpt from Newsweek: opponent doesn't want the spotlight: Jim Talent, the Missouri Republican whose opposition to embryonic stem-cell research could cost him his Senate seat. Talent's Democratic challenger, State Auditor Claire McCaskill, takes every opportunity to talk up stem cells on the stump. Noting strong support for the research in Missouri (even among some suburban and rural voters who typically oppose abortion), she's traveled the state highlighting Talent's opposition. She's also positioned herself as a national spokesperson, promoting the proposed Senate bill in a nationwide radio address. The national Democratic Party has picked Missouri as a test run for a new strategy that uses stem cells as a wedge issue to divide the social right.

If Talent is avoiding the issue, perhaps the people of Missouri should demand that he talk about it. In future televised debates, the topic of stem cell research should be included.

Ohio Republican Sen. Mike DeWine also voted against funding for stem cell research. We need to ask him why he is against cures and treatments for sick and disabled people.

Our country has always been a leader in scientific research. However, because of people like Talent, DeWine, and Voinovich, scientific breakthroughs will be left to other countries. Why do these Republicans want us to take a back seat on medical research?