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Publishers WeeklyU.S. Congresswoman DeGette, of Colorado, doesn't mince words regarding religious conservatives in congress who have been pushing, since Reagan, for abstinence-only sex education, a ban on stem cell research, and other ways of "undermining scientific progress in the name of God." Calling this "political malpractice" of a "malignant, self-serving, and unconscionable" sort, DeGette's riveting insider's account reveals how conservatives have controlled the agenda on woman's issues, especially after the 2000 election. Though her opponents are largely Republicans, DeGette works with moderates and conservatives across the aisle while facing opposition from anti-choice Democrats, as in a crucial vote to prevent a ban on stem cell research. DeGette also writes movingly about her daughter's diabetes, which made stem cell research a personal cause; sadly but predictably, her triumphant legislation, crafted across party lines and with the support of Nancy Reagan, is dashed by a Bush veto. DeGette's report from the D.C. front lines is often infuriating, but her exposure and takedown of conservatives' more outrageous arguments (against, for instance, insurance coverage of government workers' birth control) provide reason to hope for a backlash.
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