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Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in respectful opposition to H.R. 3, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, a bill, Mr. Speaker, that authorizes the use of Federal tax dollars to fund the destruction of human embryos for scientific research.

The late President Ronald Reagan wrote, ``We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life, the unborn, without diminishing the value of all human life.'

The supporters argue that this debate today is between science and ideology or dogma; that destroying human embryos for research is necessary to cure a whole host of maladies, from spinal cord injuries to Parkinson's. But the facts suggest otherwise, and physicians on our side have and will continue to make the case for the ethical alternative of adult stem cell research and new breakthroughs, past and present.

But, Mr. Speaker, the debate over the legitimacy or potential of embryonic stem cells, I believe, is actually not the point of our debate today. We are here simply to decide whether Congress should take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund the destruction of human embryos for research.

This debate is not really about whether embryonic stem cell research should be legal. Sadly, embryonic stem cell research is completely legal in this country and has been going on at universities and research facilities for years. But proponents of this legislation apparently don't want to just be able to do embryonic stem cell research, they want me to pay for it. And like more than 40 percent of Americans, I have a problem with that.

You see, I believe that life begins at conception and that a human embryo is human life. And I believe it is morally wrong to create human life to destroy it for research. But I believe it is also morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of Americans who believe that life begins at conception and use it to fund research that they find morally offensive.

This debate then, Mr. Speaker, is not about what an embryo is. This debate is about who we are as a nation. Not will we respect the sanctity of human life, but will we respect the deeply held moral beliefs of nearly half of the people of this Nation who find the destruction of human embryos for research to be morally wrong.

Despite what may be uttered in this debate today, I say again, this debate is not about whether we should allow research that involves the destruction of human embryos. This debate is about who pays for it.

Last year here in Congress, I was surrounded by dozens of snowflake babies, Mr. Speaker, children born from frozen embryos. I couldn't help but think of that ancient verse: I have set before you life and blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

It is my fervent hope, Mr. Speaker, and my prayer, as we stand at the crossroads of science and the sanctity of life, that we will choose life.


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