Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rogers votes NO on stem cell research

Stem cells were on the agenda in the House today, and H.R. 3 passed by a margin of 253-174. CNN has the lowdown:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Democratic-controlled House Thursday passed a bill bolstering embryonic stem cell research that advocates say shows promise for numerous medical cures.

Scientists still say, however, that embryonic stem cells so far are backed by the most promising evidence that one day they might be used to grow replacements for damaged tissue, such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury.

The legislation would lift Bush's 2001 ban on federal dollars spent on deriving new stem cells from fertilized embryos. Bush's veto of the bill last year was the first veto of his presidency.

Embryonic stem cells are able to morph into any of the more than 220 cell types that make up the human body. Bush on August 9, 2001, restricted government funding to research using only the embryonic stem cell lines then in existence, groups of stem cells kept alive and propagating in lab dishes.

But those 21 stem cell lines have many problems, and researchers say 300 newer lines, culled from fertility clinic leftovers otherwise destined to be thrown away, are considered better suited for implantation into sick Americans.

So, stem cells could save lives... lives of human beings who are already, you know, alive. Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, not to Mike Rogers. He voted NO on H.R. 3 today.

Mr. Rogers consistently gets perfect marks from the National Right to Life committee, which opposes embryonic stem cell research, so it's not a big shock that he would vote against such a bill.

Of course, Mike Rogers wasn't elected to congress to represent the National Right to Life committee, he was elected to represent voters in the 8th district.

National polls have consistently shown strong public support for stem cell research (as high as 74%), so it's a safe bet that there is similar support here in the 8th district. Once again, Mike Rogers has proved that he doesn't represent the values of his constituents.


Kelster93 said...

...and once again, Mike Rogers has demonstrated an utter lack of intellectual rigor. He is very proud of his work in pain control legislation, and equally proud of his anti-abortion stance. Rogers has spoken often about the need to alleviate human suffering and honor the sanctity of life.

So why vote NO on this one? This legislation was written very specifically to address the concerns of anti-abortion reps: the embryos would have to be surplus and otherwise destined for the trash can; informed consent from the embryo donor has to be obtained and the donor cannot profit from the consent.

Rogers would do well to have a chat with the bill's sponsor,Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin. Langevin, who has been paralyzed since a high school accident, issued a very thoughtful comment yesterday:

"I have come to support embryonic stem cell research, because I see how it can be done ethically," Langevin said in a written statement. "And I believe that being pro-life means fighting for legislation that will eliminate pain and suffering and help people enjoy longer, healthier lives. My support for embryonic stem cell research is entirely consistent with a pro-life position.
"I am the first to admit that my understanding of stem cell research has involved ongoing education, thought and prayer, he added. "As a pro-life Member of Congress, I have not taken my decision to support this legislation lightly."

If Rogers is really concerned with alleviating human suffering, then he has an obligation to abandon his lockstep voting pattern.

Sally York said...

Mr. Roger's is so protective of the unborn embroys, but doesn't think twice about sending our young American's into an ill fought war that has just been esclated and looks like it is going to spread to Iran.

It is also interesting speaking of the pain law that it never got out of committee, question here was did he intend for it to get out of committee? He has always been very good at when there is a hot button issue he say "I will or have introduced a bill." Many never got any further then introduction.

yorkark said...

Title: To declare adequate pain care research, education, and treatment as national public health priorities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Rogers, Mike J. [MI-8] (introduced 3/1/2005) Cosponsors (43)
Latest Major Action: 4/4/2005 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.

This is a bill introduced by Mr. Roger's for election reasons and I say that because he promised the Pain Foundation that he would reintroduce this bill after the election because it died in sub-committee.

Mr. Roger's has not returned any phone calls or letter on this subject. Pain is another major health problem experienced by many many people in this country and Michigan. It was good enough to introduce before the election, why not now.

For more information on either pain being experienced or where they are with Mr. Roger's with this bill e-mail the address above.