In August 2001, President George W. Bush announced with fanfare that federal funds would be made available to scientists conducting research on human embryonic stem cell lines?with restrictions. Reading his words, not his lips, was Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado’s First Congressional District, and what she read was this: a ban. ?As a practical matter,” scientists could no longer pursue such work ?in any lab that had received any federal funding, at any time, for any reason. That one declaration severely constrained stem-cell research in this country.”
In Sex, Science, and Stem Cells, Congress’s leading advocate of stem-cell research presents a blistering indictment of the politicization of science?and sex?by the Bush administration, the Republican leadership, and the religious right. Addressing not only stem-cell research but also birth control, HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, abortion, and sex education, Congresswoman DeGette takes the Bush White House and its fundamentalist allies to task for subverting any real discussion of human sexuality and reproduction.
DeGette writes from experience?and hard-earned frustration. During fifteen years in office, her fight for sound public policy for ethical, cutting-edge scientific research has consistently been foiled. Pulling no punches in her scrutiny of a Republican leadership that has long shirked matters relating even remotely to human sexuality, she concludes that many of America’s elected officials are simply too blinded by religious dogma to think rationally about sex. In Sex, Science, and Stem Cells, she dares to do what they can’t, or won’t?opening the door to responsible, fact-based legislation going forward.