Monday, November 20, 2006


A final thought on one of the most contentious issues of the 2006 election: Embryonic stem cell research.

Amendment 2 passed with a slim majority. Conventional wisdom held that evangelicals would turn out to the polls and quash the proposal. Obviously, that didn't happen. The Mailbox thinks that the religious-based opposition to the measure helped it pass.

The Mailbox has talked before about how embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) is not abortion. Yet opponents used abortion arguments to try to defeat the amendment. They said it legalized cloning. They said it used deceptive language. They even equated it to killing babies.

There were legitimate reasons to vote against Amendment 2. The bill was written by an institution with a lot of money to throw at an election. It gave constitutional protection to a business industry. And it stripped our legislators of power to make a decision about an important issue.

But that wasn't sexy enough for evangelical pro-lifers. In effect, they tried to cram their anti-abortion debate into another forum. If Amendment 2 would have lost, it would have been a tremendous victory for the pro-lifers and encouraged them to take their platform to the next logical step.

ESCR promises a wealth of life-saving cures. The Mailbox isn't so sure that we needed a constitutional amendment to reap those benefits, however. In any event, ESCR is here to stay.

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