Friday, July 21, 2006

Howey Spotlights Pence & Welsh Differences On Stem Cells

Rep. Mike Pence (R) and his Democrat congressional opponent Barry Welsh provide contrasting views on the debate over embryonic stem cell research as Brian Howey explains in a recent column. Congress overwhelmingly approved federal research dollars for medical research using embryonic stem cells, but the bill was quickly returned to Congress this week when President Bush used the bill as his first opportunity to exercise his veto power. Both Senators Richard Lugar (R) and Evan Bayh (D) supported the measure. But the ideologically rigid Pence has been vocal in his opposition based upon his unyielding pro-life positon. Brian Howey quotes from Pence's speech on the House floor this week:

You see, I believe that life begins at conception and that a human embryo is human life. I believe it is morally wrong to create human life to destroy it for research. And I believe it is morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans, who believe that life is sacred, and use it to fund the destruction of human embryos for research. This debate then tonight is not really about what an embryo is. This debate is about who we are as a nation and whether we respect fully half of our country.

Howey contrasts Pence's view with those of his opponent Barry Welsh. Quoting Welsh, Howey writes:

Barry Welsh is a pastor at the Laurel United Methodist Church near Rushville and is also the Democrat running against Rep. Pence. Rev. Welsh explained, "Tens of thousands of unneeded embryos are discarded as hospital waste each year. HOSPITAL WASTE. President Bush surrounded himself with children who were produced outside of a woman's body by science, and God bless each of them, but they would have been created in the petri dish regardless. That was shameful of President Bush to try to deceive us with that staged announcement."

Welsh continued, "The question is actually, should these embryos be used to find solutions to ailments, or be hospital waste, as they are now. President Bush chose hospital waste. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a doctor, voted for research because he knew it would lead to cures, he is a smart man, and I would have voted the same way. President Bush, not a doctor, makes a medical decision with this veto that once again shows why he and his supporters have a disapproval rating of over 60 percent. As someone that has experienced family members with Alzheimer's, which also struck Ronald Reagan down, and other cruel diseases that could be cured from this research, I find it disturbing that President Bush chose this time to use the first veto of his Presidency."

I suspect that far more people in Pence's district side with Welsh's more practical and compassionate position, particularly those with family members suffering from any number of medical malodies for which the reseach could provide breakthough treatments.


Anonymous said...

besides, bush and pence don't care about human life only tiny little dots which is what human embryos are. if they cared about human life they wouldn't give israel their implicit approval to bomb away lebanon and kill innocent civilians many of whom are children. perhaps it all ties into their end times end game when all will be judged by some messiah.

Anonymous said...

I'm constantly amazed how fundamentalists will revere a cluster of cells without a heart or brain more than a breathing human outside of the womb. I'll never understand that.

Anonymous said...

take a look at the fundy's editorial cartoon in today's star. it's disgusting the way he distorts the image of an embryo as a fetus. i'm sure there's more than one fetus over in lebanon right now whose mom is being severely traumatized. but our prez sez "bomb away baby, i'll send condi over in a couple more weeks".

Doug said...

Particularly galling were the statements to the effect that citizens shouldn't be forced to have their tax dollars spent in ways that they find morally repugnant. Just jaw-dropping hypocrisy.

Ed Fox said...

If Mike Pence, George Bush, and the others meant what they said, and had the integrity to accept the consequences, each unwanted embryo would receive a full funeral. Their choice is not life over death, but hospital watse over useful research.

Somewhere in the prolife movement, as distinct from some sincere individuals, the argument is twisted from respect for human life to the visceral need to impose their religious disrespect of science--what humans have discovered by using the brains God gave 'em--on everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Many of these folks truly believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth.

Anonymous said...

oh, i'm sorry, condi's leaving this sunday to make peace. by the way, since virtually all of these "snowflakes" won't be "adopted", shouldn't the folks in power shut down these infertility clinics if they're so concerned about human life being created and caused to live their days in suspended animation and finally slaughtered as medical waste?