In yet another move seemingly designed to infuriate hard-core conservatives and the leaders of her own party, Gov. Rell has announced that she intends to sign a bill passed overwhelmingly by the state House of Representatives committing $100 million to stem cell research.
For Rell, the issue is apparently more about jobs than morality:
"I am committed to making Connecticut a leader in the field of stem cell research. I am committed to growing high-tech jobs. We all know we have the talent at our world-class research universities like UConn and Yale. Now, that talent will have the resources to literally improve our quality of life," Rell said. "I thank the General Assembly for passing this bill. Connecticut is now ahead of the curve." (Pazniokas)
To no one's surprise, some conservatives opposed the bill on moral grounds:
"Before asking, `Can we do it?' perhaps we should be asking, `Should we do it?'" said Rep. Marilyn M. Giuliano, R-Old Saybrook.
Opponents said Tuesday that Connecticut was rushing into a $100-million, 10-year investment in an unproven area of research that some residents find morally objectionable. (Pazniokas)
In case you've been under a rock since 2001, embryonic stem cells are taken from human embryos which are slated to be discarded by fertility clinics. Social and religious conservatives want to protect the embryos from being harvested for their stem cells, although apparently it's all right to discard the embryos one isn't planning on using. Many scientists believe that stem cells will be key to making medical breakthroughs like, say, curing diabetes. So, in essence, these human embryos can either be used to help sick people get well again or thrown away. Where's the moral question there? Very, very few of these embryos ever become actual children.
Gov. Rell and our state government are doing the right thing. Protecting these embryos helps no one, and actually harms humanity as a whole, while researching stem cells taken from embryos has the potential to be a great help to us all.
President Bush, of course, doesn't see it that way. Don't expect him to come and campaign for Rell next year if she runs.
Pazniokas, Mark. "Landmark Stem Cell Financing Bill Passes." Hartford Courant 1 June, 2005.