Opponents of stem cell research are shifting their focus to state houses after President Obama lifted Bush administration restrictions on federal financing for human embryonic stem cell research. The Georgia Senate recently passed a ban on therapeutic cloning and the creation of embryos for any purpose other than procreation. The Mississippi House passed a bill to prohibit the University of Mississippi from using state funds "for research that kills or destroys an existing human embryo." And, as the New York Times reports, some states are considering bills that would define an embryo as a person.
State Sen. Ray Cleary, a South Carolina Republican, has proposed S.286
to create a free dental screening program for schoolchildren in at
least 3 of the state's poorest counties - where children are most
likely to go without regular dental care. Sen. Cleary, a dentist
to combat the adverse effects that poor dental health has on a child's
education, including the inability to focus while in school because of
pain and missed school days. According to the Pew Center on the States,
tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, affecting 60% of all
children and causing kids across the country to miss 51 million hours
of school time each year.