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Public Statements

Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


STEM CELL RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - May 24, 2005)

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Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, make no mistake about it, I support aggressive stem cell research and the judicious application of stem cells to mitigate and to cure disease. That is why I sponsored the Stem Cell Therapeutic Research Act of 2005 and I have been pushing it for almost 3 years. That is why those of us who oppose H.R. 810 strongly support pouring millions of dollars into Federal funds to support ethical stem cell research to find cures, to alleviate suffering, to inspire well-founded hope and to do it all in a way that respects the dignity and sanctity of human life.

I strongly oppose the Castle bill, however, because it will use Federal funds to facilitate the killing of perfectly healthy human embryos to derive their stem cells. Human embryos do have inherent value, Mr. Speaker. They are not commodities or things or just tissue. Human embryos are human lives at their most vulnerable beginning stages, and they deserve respect.

Parents of human embryos are custodians of those young ones. They are not owners of human property, and the public policy we craft should ensure that the best interests of newly created human life is protected and preserved.

The Castle bill embraces the misinformed notion that there is such a thing as left-over embryos, a grossly misleading and dehumanizing term in and of itself, that they are just going to be destroyed and thrown away and poured down the drain. That is simply not true.

The cryogenically frozen male and female embryos that the genetic parents may feel are no longer needed for implanting in the genetic mother are of infinite value to an adoptive mother who may be sterile or otherwise unable to have a baby.

Mr. Speaker, just one adoption initiative, the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program, has facilitated the adoption of 96 formerly frozen embryos with more adoptions in the works. I have met some of those kids. They are not leftovers, even though they lived in a frozen orphanage, perhaps many of them for years. They are just as human and alive and full of promise as other children. Let them be adopted, not killed and experimented on. They are not throwaways.

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