Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Congresswoman Slams Religious Right's Assault on Science's "Edgier" Side
Six-term Democratic Congresswoman Diana DeGette owns a dubious distinction: She is one of the two co-authors of the bill that garnered President George W. Bush's first-ever veto.
The subject of the legislation: embryonic stem cells. DeGette, who represents Colorado's 1st District—which includes Denver and its environs—is for them. The president isn't.
On July 19, 2006, President Bush ceremoniously vetoed the bill, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, even though it had passed both the House and Senate by wide margins—though the gaps were not large enough to override a veto. When he signed the veto, the chief executive was surrounded by so-called "snowflake babies," kids born from discarded IVF (in vitro fertilization) embryos that other couples had "adopted" through a Christian agency. These children wouldn't exist, he said, if embryos were used for stem cell research.
These publicity stunts, according to DeGette, have helped kill a wide range of legislation on sex and reproduction: the plan B "morning after" birth control pill, the human papillomavirus vaccine (touted as the best method for preventing cervical cancer), and even sex education—many Republicans advocate abstinence-only instruction.