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Published: Saturday, 6/9/2007

Kaptur vote against stem cell funds based on ethical, legal, science issues


A mix of ethical, legal, and scientific issues prompted U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur to vote against legislation that would lessen restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, she said yesterday.

Legislation passed by the House on Thursday for final congressional approval, for example, did not have adequate ethical guidelines for embryonic stem-cell research, which calls for destroying the embryo, Miss Kaptur said.

An embryo's DNA should be protected, she said.

Miss Kaptur was among just 16 Democrats opposing the Democratic-led legislation, which passed on a vote of 247-176.

Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate have conceded they were short of needed votes to override a veto threatened by President Bush, even though three dozen Republicans joined their effort.

If cells from an embryo are implanted in another person, different problems could result, such as tumors, Miss Kaptur said.

She said she also opposed the legislation's defining the technique as "cloning" and using embryonic stem cells could lead to illegal trafficking from foreign countries.

"The opportunity for crime is enormous," Miss Kaptur said.

She added: "What can happen in other places in the world, where women have no rights and people are desperate?"

Good strides, meanwhile, are being made with research on using stem cells from adults, which would be preferable, Miss Kaptur said.

"If I can heal in another way and heal just as well, I would go down that road," she said.

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