«We have an absolute view that the ends don’t justify the means,» says Richard Doerflinger of the Catholic Council of Bishops—»that exploiting or destroying innocent life at any stage is not justified by the consequences.» On the other side, the president is taking heat from members of the Reagan Administration, who, while stridently anti-abortion, see the potential for treating diseases like the Alzheimer’s that afflicts their former boss

A confidential report, obtained by CBS News, is the latest evidence of the promise of embryonic stem cells. Drafted for President Bush by top scientists at the National Institutes of Health, the report will play a key role in the president’s decision on whether to ban federal funding for research on such cell lines or, as the medical community is urging, press ahead.

«The promise is real because of the remarkable capability of these cells. And we’ve never had that kind of potential in medicine or biology before,» says Dr. David Korn of the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Just as remarkable is the pressure being brought to bear on Bush. The Roman Catholic Church—a constituency the president needs to win reelection and actively courted today with a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral—is strictly opposed to such research.

«We have an absolute view that the ends don’t justify the means,» says Richard Doerflinger of the Catholic Council of Bishops—»that exploiting or destroying innocent life at any stage is not justified by the consequences.»

On the other side, the president is taking heat from members of the Reagan Administration, who, while stridently anti-abortion, see the potential for treating diseases like the Alzheimer’s that afflicts their former boss.

«This can be a defining moment for compassionate conservatism. This can be a defining moment for George W. Bush being able to relate to every American family,» says Ken Duberstein, former Reagan chief of staff.

In Congress, 사설토토사이트 the battle lines are being drawn. House conservatives Armey, DeLay, and Watts denounced what they call «an industry of death.» Senate conservative Orrin Hatch, however, calls the embryonic research «the ultimate Prolife decision,» and today said that if President Bush won’t fund it, Congress will.

«I think there’s going to be legislation if he does turn it down, and I do believe that we’ll be able to get enough votes to pass it,» says Hatch, Republican representative from Utah.

There’s a sense that the president has enough political cover on the right to support a decision to go ahead with stem cell research. But with Bush scheduled to meet the Pope on July 23rd, it’s impossible to underplay the agonizing that this decision is causing on Capitol Hill.©MMII CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed


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