David Volk is no raving liberal devil. A decorated Vietnam vet, Volk has been a Janklow and Reagan man. But he caught heck from South Dakota's hard-right wingnuts for his involvement with the centrist (read RINO) Mainstream Coalition, and he did oppose the 2006 abortion ban as bad policy. (Volk probably hasn't helped his case with the theocracy crowd by writing with Mark Meierhenry a kids book about geology that denies literal Creationism.)
And now David Volk is the devil, just like Nathan Peterson, the Campaign for Healthy Families, and anyone connected with Tom Daschle. Volk is spearheading a ballot initiative to repeal South Dakota's ban on embryonic stem cell research.
While Pat Powers does the real work and gets hold of the actual initiative Volk and South Dakotans for Living Cures is working on, Pastor Steve Hickey goes ballistic with the typical nonsensical character assassination of South Dakota's culture warriors (it must be nice to focus just on those political issues that you can turn into raging spiritual warfare rather than boring practical policy analysis).
I would rather have this stem cell debate on the 2010 ballot than another abortion ban. We've had abortion bans in two straight elections, with the same arguments and the same outcomes. A debate on stem cell research would explore the pitfalls of defining embryos as persons from a different angle. We could talk about how South Dakota's ban on embryonic stem cell research makes us lose out on some significant medical research investments. We could discuss why destroying embryos for research is bad but why destroying embryos for in vitro fertilization is perfectly acceptable (and excepted from South Dakota's embryo protection statute).
Let's have that debate. Dave, Nate, bring a petition by. I'll sign.
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