Take Back America 2006

Presentation at Take Back America conference, Washington, DC

My remarks today are about progressive values and the politics of stem cell research, and I have some things to tell you that you may not expect.

We all know that the Bush limits on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research are another case of pandering to the religious right, and we look forward to those restrictions being lifted in a Senate vote soon. And we all hope that stem cell research results in new scientific understandings and new medical treatments.

But if our analysis and understanding were to stop there, we’d be overlooking a number of very important progressive values that we urgently need to bring to the politics of stem cell research. If we continue to let the Right frame stem cell research as simply a question about the moral status of embryos, if we buy into the black-and-white polarized politics that has too often characterized the stem cell debate, we’ll be selling ourselves and our values short, and missing important political opportunities.

My organization, the Center for Genetics...