STEM CELL THERAPEUTIC AND RESEARCH ACT OF 2005 -- (Extensions of Remarks - December 18, 2005)
HON. W. TODD AKIN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2005
Mr. AKIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to strongly support the passage of the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005. This bill will encourage and support the most promising avenue of stem cell research available to us today, and will do so without ending a human life, as is required in embryonic stem cell research. Cord blood is one the most exciting areas of medical research today and successful treatments have been developed for a wide range of diseases, from sickle cell anemia to leukemia.
The promise of medical research using the stem cells found in umbilical cords is truly amazing. Stem cells from cord blood have already resulted in treatments for at least 67 different human afflictions and future research looks immensely promising. Just one example of this is the successful treatment of numerous children afflicted by Krabbe's Disease. Dozen's of children across the country have been saved from an early death by cord blood transplants. This legislation will make cord blood more readily available to save lives and treat numerous conditions.
This summer I had the opportunity to visit a leading center of cord blood-based stem cell research. The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital is one of the leaders in this field and is the second largest cord blood bank in the world. It was exciting to see the research being done and hear stories about the lives that have been radically altered by successful cord blood treatments. I believe that the work being done by the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank is just a taste of what can be accomplished in the future.
While embryonic stem cell research may draw more media attention and certainly produces many improbably optimistic promises for the future, cord blood stem cells are already producing treatments. Embryonic stem cell research requires the death of an innocent embryo, but cord blood stem cells are a gift from God that we would be irresponsible to waste. Cord blood stem cell research has already resulted in numerous successful medical treatments, and I believe that this research has a bright future. The support and coordination of cord blood banking and research efforts across the country will benefit our citizens in numerous ways in the years ahead. I urge my colleagues to support the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005.