As an IN delegate to the Republican National Platform Committee, Jim Bopp, self-credentialed “counsel for the National Right to Life Committee,” unsuccessfully fought a one-man show yesterday to weaken proposed language calling for an outright ban on human embryo and cloning experimentation.
In the process Bopp endorsed “therapeutic” embryo research:
The problem is, is that there is ethical human life affirming reseach on human embryos. That’s called “therapeutic” research….
[I]t may very well be in our future that there is therapeutic research that can be done on human embryos, and there is nothing unethical immoral, improper or… that disregards the sanctity of life if we are involved in therapeutic research.
Placing the “or” here however, means that all “experimentation” on human embryos for research purposes should be banned, including therapeutic research, and that is wrong. So I oppose the amendment.
See for yourself:
Numerous sources tell me Bopp did not confer with any pro-life groups or platform delegates before dropping his verbal bomb (except NRLC’s Co-Executive Director Darla St. Martin, with whom Bopp was seen). National Review Online’s Steve Spruiell reported what Bopp was thinking…
I think the amendment inadvertently could be read to ask that therapeutic research that would involve human embryos be prohibited. And therapeutic research, that is research that is done on human subjects for their benefit, is under certain circumstances appropriate.
Nevertheless, Bopp lost. Pro-life platform delegates stood strong. One told me, “This was an absolutely disgraceful performance for any pro-lifer. People were so shocked and dismayed to see Jim Bopp standing for the vote with all those people who were on the other side.”
I’ve certainly seen Bopp do that before, standing with the other side to oppose the GA and CO personhood amendments and SD’s abortion ban.
Why didn’t Bopp bring his concerns to fellow pro-lifers beforehand and attempt to persuade them before the embarrassing public display of acrimony? Continued Spruiell:
Bopp’s stated position – against all research on embryos that is not for their own benefit – doesn’t really seem that hard to accommodate. A platform-committee staffer told me privately that he was dismayed at the way it had gone down. Delicate compromises over platform language should happen at the subcommittee level, he said, not in full committee with C-SPAN cameras and reporters everywhere.
Nor were pro-lifers convinced by Bopp’s argument, given his history.
In 2004, Bopp tabled a ban on human embryo research, stating at the time the platform should not contradict the candidate, President Bush, who supported federally funded escr of existing stem cell lines.
Word is Bopp was cloning that attempt yesterday, either trying to curry favor with the McCain campaign or doing their bidding. McCain supports escr.