Monday, March 15, 2010

Life Links 3/15/10

The National Review posted excerpts of an interview with Bart Stupak regarding health care.
They’re ignoring me,” he says, in a phone interview with National Review Online. “That’s their strategy now. The House Democratic leaders think they have the votes to pass the Senate’s health-care bill without us. At this point, there is no doubt that they’ve been able to peel off one or two of my twelve. And even if they don’t have the votes, it’s been made clear to us that they won’t insert our language on the abortion issue.”

Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser has an editorial in the Washington Post arguing that Republicans are ignoring the abortion issue at their own peril.
Republicans too often treat the abortion issue like an eccentric aunt at Thanksgiving dinner -- if they ignore it, maybe it will go away. And lately, Republican heads have been turned by a new, flashy guest at the table -- the tea party movement, which has been attracting big crowds, high-profile speakers and money with its message of lower taxes and less government spending. Some party leaders sound as if they are counting on this new energy to deliver victory in November all by itself.

That's a risky bet. There is no doubt that the tea party movement has invigorated GOP leaders and given them hope of retaking Congress after the crushing defeat of 2008. However, the movement hasn't been tested nationally at the ballot box; its power to elect or defeat candidates is still largely theoretical. But year in and year out, pro-life voters consistently help carry Republican candidates into office.

Rut-row....The new NIH guidelines for the federal-funding of human embryonic stem cell research have caused a problem: Only one of the older lines, which researchers have spent years and millions studying, has been approved for new funding.
"The situation at the moment is worse than it was under the Bush administration," said Charles Murry, a professor of pathology and bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Because of this, we are going to waste a lot of time."
The problem is that it remains unclear how many of the original 21 lines, which researchers have spent millions of dollars and nearly a decade studying, were derived at a time when ethical requirements were less specific, leaving in doubt how many would pass muster under the tough new guidelines.....

So far, the NIH has approved 43 lines. But that includes only one of the original 21 "Bush" lines. An additional 115 lines are awaiting review. But that includes only two more of the original lines.

"We're losing access to those lines in this approval process for some period of time -- maybe indefinitely," Kamp said. "They are the main workhorses for many of our projects."
Researchers with existing federal grants can continue to work on the old lines regardless of whether they have been approved under the new policy. But any research involving new grants, including those awarded using the flood of new funding the NIH received as part of the stimulus package, can only use lines approved under the new policy. That has left researchers scrambling to decide how to proceed: They can wait in the hopes that the lines they've been using will be approved. Or they can switch to a new line.

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