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Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC



Mrs. BIGGERT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 3.

Everyone has a family member or friend who suffers from diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or other diseases. Unfortunately, without Federal Government support, scientists won't have access to the stem cells they need to develop treatments and cures for these and a host of other diseases that touch the lives of every American.

We already are using Federal funds to support embryonic stem cell research. But science has advanced rapidly since the President announced his stem cell research policy. These cells were just identified less than ten years ago, and already, the technology is progressing by leaps and bounds. The 22 lines currently available under the President's policy were developed using outdated techniques and have been contaminated, possibly skewing the outcome of experiments.

There are now 125 good, pure cell lines available for use. Because they are more diverse, not only can scientists use them to research more conditions, but they better reflect the genetic diversity of individuals.

I support lifting the ban on Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, so long as the donors give their consent and the cells made available would otherwise be discarded and destroyed. It is simply tragic that something so valuable would just be thrown away when it has so much potential to alleviate so much suffering.

Given the promise that these stem cells hold, it is time to drop the restrictions and allow researchers to do what they do best. Let's let researchers go where the science leads them, not where politicians dictate. In order to truly explore all the possibilities, scientists must have access to all kinds of stem cells: adult, embryonic and those from umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid. That is why I plan to vote for H.R. 3.

I am proud to support H.R. 3, and for the sake of the millions suffering from debilitating diseases, I ask my colleagues to do the same.


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