March 08, 2007
Woolley files bill to protect stem cell research

On "pro-life day" at the Lege, Rep. Beverly Woolley has filed a bill that will get her a little crosswise with the Republican base.

Woolley, R-Houston, filed legislation to protect embryonic stem cell research and already has support from 64 House members.

Elsewhere in the Capitol, "pro life and respect life directors" of Texas' archdioceses fanned through the building, asking lawmakers to abolish abortion and to oppose any bill that allows embryonic stem cell research.

Woolley says her bill would ban human cloning and the sale of human eggs while providing oversight for stem cell research.

"Stem cell research is pro-life. It embodies the hope we find in scripture - that we may see in our own lifetimes the lame made to walk and the sick healed," said the Rev. Frank Goldsmith, pastor of Koening Lane Christian Church in Austin.

However, opponents of embryonic stem cells consider supporters to be "misguided."

"We need to continue to dialogue with them. We don't see them as enemies but as potential converts," said Peter Monod, director for the Office of Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Funny, but I think the supporters of stem cell research would say the same thing about you. Be that as it may, it's not every day that the Texas Freedom Network says things like this about Rep. Woolley:

Rep. Woolley's bill sends a clear message that public health policy should be based on science and hope, not division and politics. It would establish a responsible, ethical policy that encourages promising stem cell research and removes unnecessary obstacles. This is good for Texas and for all of our families looking to the wonders of modern medicine for hope.

The bill in question is HB2704. By my count, 16 of the 64 sponsors and coauthors are Republicans, the rest Democrats. Can the chair of Calendars get a bill like this through the House? We'll see.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 08, 2007 to That's our Lege