The US House of Representatives has passed a bill by a vote of 238 to 194 which would allow federal funding for research on IVF embryos, if they would otherwise be discarded and if the donors consent. It was supported by most Democrats and about 50 Republicans. However, the bill’s future is uncertain despite confident bluster from its sponsors, as it must still pass through the Senate and President Bush has vowed to veto it. It would be the first veto of his presidency.
In fact, Bush’s views on the status of embryos seem to be more aligned than ever with those who believe that they are human persons from the moment of conception. He made his position clear by appearing with a group which adopts out embryos, Nightlight Christian Adoptions. More than 80 children have already been born from the program.
“The children here today remind us that there is no such thing as a spare embryo,” he said in his address. “Every embryo is unique and genetically complete, like every other human being. And each of us started out our life this way. These lives are not raw material to be exploited, but gifts.” The New York Times slammed the President for imposing “his morality on a society with pluralistic views”.
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