Ryan Statement on Stem Cell Votes
Following today's Senate passage of three bills related to stem cell research, the House of Representatives voted to approve one of these bills, which it had not yet considered: S. 3504, the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act, which would prohibit the buying or selling of tissue from human fetuses gestated for research purposes. The House also voted on S. 2754, the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act, to bolster stem cell research that does not destroy human embryos; however, the bill did not achieve the necessary 2/3 vote required for House passage under suspension of the rules. Wisconsin's First District Congressman Paul Ryan voted in favor of these two measures.
Ryan voted in May 2005 against separate legislation, H.R. 810, which the Senate passed today, because it calls for the use of federal tax dollars for research that relies upon the ongoing destruction of human embryos.
In light of the Senate's approval of H.R. 810, as well as today's House vote on legislation that would support promising stem cell research that does not destroy human life, Ryan made the following statement:
"The current congressional debate about embryonic stem cell research is not about its legality. Today, universities and others are allowed to destroy embryos for research purposes using non-federal funds. The main question now before Congress and the President is whether taxpayers should have to pay for stem cell research that destroys human embryos - a practice that many Americans, including many of those I represent, believe is morally wrong. I firmly believe they must not be forced to finance such research and, if the President vetoes H.R. 810 as expected, I intend to vote to sustain this veto," Ryan said.
"We should respect life in its earliest, most vulnerable stages, at the same time that we pursue scientific advances to cure debilitating diseases. This is why it's especially important that we find ways to ethically tap the potential of non-embryonic stem cells from adult tissues and umbilical cord blood. Our federal government does not have to choose between advancing new therapies and adhering to strict ethical standards. We can achieve both and uphold the trust of American taxpayers, including those who believe, as I do, that the destruction of human embryos for research is wrong," Ryan said.