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Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Floor Statement in Support of Presidential Veto of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Legislation (HR 810)

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Floor Statement in Support of Presidential Veto of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Legislation (HR 810)

Mr. Speaker, never in my 26 years as a Member of Congress have I seen so much hyperbole, misinformation and misattribution of success as in the embryonic stem cell debate.

Despite recent revelations of massive fraud by prominent stem cell researchers in South Korea, despite the fact that there hasn't been anything even close to success of any kind in treating any human being anywhere in the world with embryonic stem cells, despite all of this and so much more, embryonic stem cell proponents demand that tens of thousands of perfectly healthy human embryos be destroyed for taxpayer-funded research.

This is especially troubling in light of the stunning breakthroughs and successes announced almost daily of adult and cord blood stem cell therapies that are today helping men and women with leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and a myriad of other diseases. Ethical stem cell research, Mr. Speaker, has given not only hope, but it has given us real, durable therapies that work.

Arguments were made on this floor, Mr. Speaker, that we are just using spare or leftover embryos as if they exist as a subclass of surplus human beings that can be experimented on or slaughtered at will.

A few hours ago at the White House, several of us met with some of those snowflake children, all of whom were adopted while they were still in their embryonic stage and frozen in what we like to call frozen orphanages. Believe me, watching snowflakes children laugh, smile and act, well, like kids underscored the fact that they are every bit as human and alive and precious as any other child. Under the Castle bill, these so-called surplus humans are throwaways. Adopt them, don't destroy them.

Mr. Speaker, finally, make no mistake about it, those of us who oppose the Castle bill support aggressive stem cell research and judicious application of stem cells to mitigate and cure diseases. That is why I sponsored the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005. It provides $265 million for comprehensive cord blood and bone marrow stem cells. That is why we support the $609 million in FY 2006 currently been expended under the NIH for ethical stem cells.

Yesterday, Hannah Strege, the first known snowflake embryo adoption, told a small group of us: ``Don't kill the embryos, we are kids and we want to grow up too.'' How come a 7-year-old gets it and we don't. Sustain the veto.

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