Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bishops Campaigning for Doyle

While the letter wasn't intended as such, a message from two Catholic bishops in Wisconsin to Jim Doyle regarding the use of embryonic stem cells for medical research will actually help the governor's re-election campaign.

In an attempt to assure the governor the letter wasn't political in nature, the bishops wrote: "We're not trying to influence the election in any way."

The one they should be trying to assure of this is actually Mark Green. Granted, Green agrees with the bishops on the issue -- they all don't think discarded embryos should be used for potentially life-saving medical research. But the majority of the state disagrees with this stance, which is what makes it politically threatening for Green, not Doyle.

Doyle is actually trying to keep this issue on the front-page, which is what elicited the letter from the bishops in the first place. Yet, the letter itself is a boon for the governor because it serves the purpose of keeping stem cell research at the forefront of this race.

According to a recent statewide poll, nearly 70% of Wisconsin voters support embryonic stem cell research. Even among pro-life voters, the poll showed that more support the research (46%) than oppose it (36%).

Plus, the logical line to opposing embryonic stem cell research is opposition to the fertility practice in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is an even less popular stance in Wisconsin and the rest of the country.

There are thousands of unused embryos from fertility clinics that would be simply destroyed if not used for research. If the ultimate goal in blocking embryonic stem cell research is to stop the destruction of embryos, then practices like IVF should be the real target.

Until the public decides to shut down fertility clinics employing IVF, why shouldn't the unused embryos be used in research aimed at saving millions of lives?

And, in Wisconsin, we have the added interest of being the premier spot for stem cell research. While economic development should not be the only reason to engage in embryonic stem cell research (saving lives is still the preeminent concern), it is a nice feature that comes along with the other benefits of the research.

Embryonic stem cell research is going to be a wedge issue this fall -- and Doyle is on the right side of the divide.

UPDATE: Xoff has more.


Blogger krshorewood said...

Amazingly the pro-business GOP which will throw out every social program imaginable, programs that in many cases are life-saving, suddenly are becoming moralists when it comes to a technology that could prove effective in pushing the economy in this state.

But for this crowd its all cut regulations and cut taxes in effect, turning us into Mississippi.

May 25, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

The state GOP has certainly taken a sharp turn rightward since Tommy Thompson. Mark Green is a much different kind of Republican than Tommy -- or at least he's willing to play one. When moderates were controlling the GOP in the '90s, embryonic stem cell research never would've come under serious attack.

May 25, 2006  

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