In June 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate took up the issue of stem cell research once again, re-introducing a bill that had already been vetoed once by President Bush. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act would have expanded U.S. federal funding (which currently applies to only 21 embryonic stem cell lines) to include about 200 new and superior cell lines. This year’s version of the bill was passed in the Senate on April 11, but it fell four votes short of a veto-proof majority. Then the bill passed Congress by a vote of 253 – 174, only to be met once again with the slash of Bush’s pen. The president has stood stubbornly by his anti-research policy against the wishes of the Congress, the Senate, and a large majority of the American people. His reason: the destruction of embryos, even for life-saving research, “crosses a moral line” that shouldn’t be crossed. This, however, is not the consensus among all religious faiths, let alone among mainstream Christians; it is a narrow proposition held mostly by neo-orthodox Christians. The concept that embryonic research is off-limits is being furthered not just by religious conservatives, but also by their often nonreligious neoconservative allies.
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