The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 3, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, which provides federal funding for conducting research on embryonic stem cells. As I have in the past, I voted in favor of enhancing stem cell research.
In addition to the promise of new therapies and cures, there are also legitimate ethical concerns associated with embryonic stem cell research. I understand that this bill has caused concern for many in the pro-life community. I believe strongly in protecting life, and I have consistently voted to support legislation that limits abortion.
I voted in favor of continuing this research because it has the potential to produce treatments and cures for some of the most debilitating diseases, and to give hope to those suffering from Alzheimer's and diabetes. To ensure that the research is carried out responsibly, H.R. 3 contains strict ethical standards which will guide the use of embryonic stem cells. Among these protections are guidelines to ensure that research is limited to stem cells that are derived from human embryos that have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics with no financial inducements, were in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking such treatment, and that the embryos would otherwise be discarded.
The promise of stem cells to provide innovative treatments and cures warrants investment in more advanced research. In Congress, our ultimate purpose should be to protect and improve the quality of life for all Americans, and continued stem cell research can help achieve this goal.