.- Lawmakers in Washington must move beyond partisan politics and offer support for stem-cell research techniques that bring science and ethics together to promote, protect and save life, said former Mass. governor Mitt Romney.
Romney commented on the passage of a bill in Congress last week that would use tax dollars to fund embryonic stem-cell research. The research is controversial because the process requires the killing of embryos.
Romney, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, suggested that the bill, pushed by a Democratic-controlled Congress, only exacerbates the controversy given that alternative techniques have been developed that do not require the use of embryos at all.
Romney noted that researchers in Massachusetts announced on Wednesday that they managed to transform regular skin cells into the equivalent of embryonic stem cells in mice.
“Their work points to a way to produce cells with the qualities scientists value about embryonic stem cells, but without the need to create, harm, or destroy human embryos, and therefore without ethical or political controversy,” Romney said.
“A number of such techniques have begun to emerge in recent years, and as last week’s exciting scientific publications showed, some of the world’s best stem-cell scientists are hard at work bringing them to fruition,” he continued.
“Our government should encourage and support these scientific developments, rather than undermine the effort to find a solution. Finding cures to diseases using methods that uphold ethical principles and sustain social consensus should be the objective of America’s approach to stem-cell research,” he said.
“Support for ethical biomedical research should be part of our collective identity as a noble society. Instead of turning the quest for cures into a partisan battle, Congress should embrace the exciting emerging lines of research that could meet the goals of all sides in the stem-cell debate,” he concluded.