Now there's an encouraging new plank in what, just a few years ago, looked like a leaky platform as regards pro-life issues.
The 2008 Republican Platform Committee has finally reached the finish line, but before it crossed it tripped up on the issue of stem-cell research. When the committee reached the stem-cell language, North Carolina delegate Mary Summa offered what appeared on the surface to be a small change. Summa sought to change the sentence:
We call for a ban on human cloning and a ban on the creation of and experimentation on human embryos for research purposes.
We call for a ban on human cloning and a ban on the creation of or experimentation on human embryos for research purposes.
thus severing experimentation on human embryos from their creation for that purpose. It's just one word, but it has huge implications. It is a call for a total ban on embryonic stem-cell research, including privately funded research using frozen embryos from in-vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics. By contrast, the 2004 platform was in accord with President Bush's policy at the time, which made limited federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research available for the first time.
In introducing her amendment, Summa gave an emotional speech in which she said, "I want my five children to live in a world where the weak are protected from the strong. I want them to live in a world where all life is protected." [...]
Bopp then offered his own amendment to Summa's amendment. At this point Burr broke it up. He instructed Summa, Bopp and Kobach to confer until they had come up with a single amendment on stem-cells. The committee then moved on to other matters.
When the three of them returned, Summa's eyes were red and swollen. She re-submitted her original amendment, without modification. Burr called for a vote, and the motion passed.The 2008 Republican Platform calls for a ban on all embryonic stem-cell research, public or private. [Emphasis added, EM.]
If nothing else comes of election 2008, this will be remembered as the election where pro-life voters finally made it clear that we're not going away, and the major parties ignore us at their peril.
Thank God for delegate Mary Summa.