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straight talk on stem cells

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 12, 2004

Today's Wall Street Journal editorial (subscription required) on stem-cell research is noteworthy for several reasons:

  • The Journal is not taking the Catholic position. The editorial leaves open the possibility that, if embryonic stem cells can be used to cure adult illness, the Journal might sanction that use; the question is left open.
  • However, the Journal notes, to date the use of embryonic stem cells has not shown promise in treating human illness, while the use of adult stem cells has yielded very promising results.
  • While Democratic candidates complain of a "ban" on stem-cell research in the US, the Journal points out that there is no such ban. Such research is taking place, every day. What's more, the federal government is funding it.
  • President Bush has not halted embryonic stem-cell research, nor funding for same. Actually, during his presidency the amount of federal funding has risen from zero (under Clinton) to $24.3 million this year.
The Journal suggests that we might, at least, have an informed and accurate discussion of the issue. This editorial is a good start.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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