Recently I commented to social gadfly MCS:
i can’t wait for [Bush’s and the ] religious right’s backwards stance on this to make sure that the US pharmacological sector falls apart.
Big Pharma is one of the biggest contributors to campaigns and has even had GWB as a speaker at one of their lobby’s gatherings. What should a free-market Republican not like about Pharma? They don’t empty tankers on Alaskan shores, they don’t tend to take pictures of you with their CEO and then implode, they don’t overcharge to line porkets….there’s a lot going for Pharma.
But there can be no doubt for Big Pharma to grow, make money, grow the economy, and remain competitive in the US, they are going to have to get closer and closer to the magic moment of conception. They are going to have to come closer to the blastocyst. In short, they must do stem cell research.
But think about this, a researcher brings together sperm and egg, grows a blastocyst, looks at the cell and finds that it isn’t producing the correctly modified cells and then, like so many Perl scripts and code solutions technical people like myself have created, throws it away. By the conservative doctrine, the doctor has committed an abortion.
This puts Republican candidates in a difficult spot. On the one hand the need to embrance Big Pharm’s cash lined PACs to win. On the other hand their ethics (and, on occasion, constituency’s ethics) are usually contrary to the “abortions” that such research breeds.
In the midst of all that, the latest breakthrough in this area was quickened by South Korean researchers who, like many other Asian nations, are much less picky about where life begins (and if anecdotal stories of infanticide be proven true don’t seem to be too particular about life in- or ex utero).
Make no mistake, failure of US Pharma / Biotech to get into stem stell research will equate to their irrelevance and the loss of thousands of jobs.
So what is a Republican to make of this? Democrats have the advantage of being from the pro-Choice party and while I suspect the great majority are uncomfortable about blastocyst harvesting, they don’t have the plank in the party line that the Republicans do.