WASHINGTON, DC -- (AP Story from ProLifeInfonet) The Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed pro-life
Gov.Tommy Thompson (R-WI) to lead the Department of Health and Human
Services even though Thompson has agreed to review the hasty approval of
the dangerous Ru 486 abortion drug.
``The qualities that have made Governor Thompson so successful in
Wisconsin are also what makes him an ideal choice to lead this important
department,'' said pro-life Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). ``He will bring a
wealth of knowledge ... and an innovative style to the national debate on
His nomination got support from Democrats, who said they think he'll do
well even if they oppose some of his views on abortion.
One question Thompson will have a say in as secretary is whether federal
money can be used for stem cell research, which shows promise in the
treatment of catastrophic diseases such as Alzheimer's. Because major stem
cell research is done on unborn children, the research upsets pro-life
advocates who know that pro-life alternatives are available. President
Bush, who opposes abortion, also opposes federally funded stem cell
Thompson has not taken a position on the issue, but he praised University
of Wisconsin researcher James Thomson as a ``bold pioneer'' for
``groundbreaking developments'' in stem cell research. However, he did not
make any statement in support of research using unborn children.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin Right to Life executive director Barbara Lyons
said she expects that Thompson's ``position will be very positive on this
issue,'' and he also will uphold Bush's views against abortion.
A Milwaukee spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, Lisa Boyce, said
Thompson's views are uncertain. ``It's really difficult to see what he's
going to bring to this position because he's not a spokesperson on
reproduction rights in either capacity,'' Boyce said.
But Thompson, while also being a staunch abortion foe, fared well among
``He's more than up to the task,'' said Sen. Max Baucus, a pro-abortion
Montana Democrat. ``I don't mean to imply that I expect to agree with
every position of our about-to-be secretary. There clearly are some issues
on which we disagree, say a woman's right to choose. That said, I think
Mr. Thompson is the right person for a very tough job.''