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Bradley Supports Stem Cell Research Bills

Location: Washington, DC

Stem cell and cord blood bills pass House

Today, First District Congressman Jeb Bradley voted for H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 238 to 194. The bill, which Bradley cosponsored, would enhance research on additional stem cell lines that have been derived from discarded embryos at fertilization clinics. Bradley also voted for passage of H.R. 2520, the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act, which would establish a federal program to make stem cells extracted from cord blood available to patients who need them.

"When President Bush announced his policy on restricting federal funding for stem cell research in 2001, 78 stem cell lines existed. Today, the National Institute of Health lists only 22 lines available for research, many of which are contaminated. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act will give federal researchers access to other available stem cell lines, enabling them to conduct research on a variety of medical ailments, including juvenile diabetes, paralysis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)," stated Bradley.

H.R. 810 also establishes ethical provisions of federal policy regarding stem cell research. It allows for the use of embryos only under strict conditions. Couples who are utilizing fertilization clinics and would otherwise discard embryos unnecessary for personal reproductive purposes may opt to donate these embryos for federally-funded stem cell research. Donors will not be allowed to receive financial payment for their donation, and federal funds cannot be used to destroy embryos.

"The promise that embryonic research holds, as well as that of cord blood research, is significant. It is my hope that we can come closer to a cure for many deadly and disabling diseases with this bill and improve the quality of life for those who suffer from incurable afflictions," Bradley concluded.

Both bills now await approval in the Senate.

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