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Protect Zara and the Snowflakes

Location: Washington, DC

PROTECT ZARA AND THE SNOWFLAKES -- (House of Representatives - May 24, 2005)

(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I am a big supporter of stem cell research. But I do not support the dissecting and destruction of living human embryos to do so.

Steve Johnson from Reading, Pennsylvania, agrees with me. A bicycle incident, an accident, he had 11 years ago replaced his bike with a wheelchair. He has heard that embryonic stem cells might help him walk again. For Steve, though, that is unacceptable, using embryos. The way that H.R. 810 would find those cells is through the destruction of IVF living embryos. He and his wife, Kate, adopted his daughter, Zara, as an embryo from an IVF clinic when she was just a frozen embryo. And H.R. 810 would have killed Zara as an embryo for her stem cells.

There are 20 others like this child here in town today-the "snowflakes"-babies who developed from embryos given by their biological parents to a couple unable to conceive on their own. If H.R. 810 were law, there is a good chance they would not be here at all. They are living human embryos, and there are many of them that should be adopted, not dissected.

The sad thing is that Steve is more likely to be treated not with embryonic stem cell research but with stem cells from his own body. Adult stem cell treatments are helping people walk today, in 67 different diseases and treatments. The proponents of H.R. 810 can produce no such results. There are none for embryonic stem cells.

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