Stem Cell Research in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow human cells to be cultured for stem cell research. The bill passed by 10-2. On Thursday the House of Representatives version of the bill passed by 117 to 37, a vote wide enough to repel the Governor's veto of the bill, which requires 53 votes.

Mitt Romney, a Republican (as usual) governor in the largely Democratic state, vigorously lobbied against the bill, most recently in a radio campaign. Romney is against cloning embryonic stem cells via somatic cell nuclear transfer because that is for the creation of "new human life". However, in apparently nuanced and rather opaque position against embryonic stem cell research, he is not opposed to stem cells created from cells leftover from in-vitro fertilization. Romney conceded defeat on the Massachusetts measure, but added:

"I think you're going to see at the national level an interest in legislation which limits the creation of new embryos though cloning," Romney said. ''So I think you're going to see a national effort to define the boundaries of ethics, and I hope that proceeds."

There is speculation that Romney is polishing his resume for a prospective presidential run in 2008.

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