The Senate will soon vote on whether the federal government should, for the first time, fund research that kills human embryos. The embryos would be those created by fertility clinics but not implanted. President Bush has said that he will veto any such bill, as he should. The bill breaches an important principle, and not to achieve any practical benefit but only to prepare the ground for further breaches of principle. If the bill became law, most of its advocates would instantly begin arguing that funding research on these embryos is inadequate. They will say that cloning embryos and using them for experiments is more promising. And they will be right on that narrow point, although wrong in thinking the moral price worth paying. They may also be wrong in thinking that cloning is the only way to make breakthroughs in stem-cell research. An expanding number of alternative approaches, at various stages of development, might yield those benefits without killing any human embryos at all. The president is for those alternative approaches, and we hope that he prevails.
Read this and more in this week’s edition of NRO’s Window on The Week .