The bill Congress passed that would have allowed the use of abandoned embryos in stem cell research had solid bipartisan support, passing in both houses by wide margins—only to be killed by President Bush’s very first veto.
Bush used his veto to kill legislation that would have given hope to millions of sufferers from Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and other terrible illnesses. In doing so, he ignored the fact that most embryos left over after in-vitro fertilization are routinely thrown in the garbage anyway.
And where was our local congressional representative, Wally Herger, when it came time to try to override the veto? Lined up in lock-step behind the president, refusing to support legislation that held the promise of saving lives.
If ever there was a time when Herger should have shown a little gumption and for once defied the president, this was it. Instead he voted against the veto override.
Herger is a religious man who is staunchly pro-life. “I believe that there’s no such thing as excess life,” he said, “and the fact that an embryo is going to die does not justify experimenting on it or exploiting it as a natural resource.”
We—and millions of people hoping for cures—wish he would have transcended ideology for a greater good.