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Rep. Andrews Supports Stem Cell Research in House Vote

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REP. ANDREWS SUPPORTS STEM CELL RESEARCH IN HOUSE VOTE

On May 24, 2005, I voted in favor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (H.R. 810) to repeal current limitations on this vital research. Since 2001, the administration has restricted federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to a few lines of preexisting samples. At present, most samples authorized for research with federal funds lack the variation necessary for experimentation. Such impediments have consequently stalled research in the United States which could potentially benefit our nation and the world for generations to come.

Contrary to what some believe, stem cell research does not promote or increase abortion. In fact, the stem cells that could be employed in research are presently being discarded. I do not support human cloning; instead, I support ethical research on embryonic stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells can become any type of tissue in the human body. As we develop, these embryonic stem cells differentiate and become our bone, blood, heart, and brain. Scientists in the United States identified the unique properties of these cells but basic research has continued in every country but our own. These cells may hold the key to miraculous therapies whereby we can replace damaged tissue ravaged by Alzheimer's, heart attack, spinal injury, cancer, and almost every other disease imaginable. This future is too promising to ignore. We must give our scientists the tools and funding to do this good work while delineating clear ethical guidelines for them to follow. I am heartened by the potential of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 passed in the House 238-194 and is now being considered in Senate bill S. 471. The bill was supported by hundreds of leading scientific groups including the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Diabetes Association, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the American Society of Hematology, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, the Children's Neurobiological Solutions Foundation, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Glaucoma Research Foundation, Harvard University, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the National Coalition for Cancer Research, the National Council on Spinal Cord Injury, the National Health Council, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Geriatrics Society, the National Hemophilia Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. To track the progress of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, please visit http://thomas.loc.gov.


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