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Remarks Of Senator Edward M. Kennedy On The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act

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For years, many of us have fought the same battle - the battle to give those suffering or injured every ethical option for new cures.

For those speaking on the Senate floor, perhaps little changes from one year's debate to the next. We still speak of hope. We still speak of dreams denied when those hopes are dashed. We still speak of our belief that medical research should be valued.

But for those who listen to our debate, a year can make all the difference in the world.

For a young man or woman bravely serving their country, a year can mean the difference between vigorous active service and life in a wheelchair or with a brain injury from a war wound.

For someone fighting the long and lonely battle against Alzheimer's Disease, a year can make the memory of a beloved spouse or child a little fainter and a little more distant.

For a patient battling against the tremors of Parkinson's Disease, a year can mean more and more life activities fade out of reach.

If overturning the Administration's unwarranted restrictions on stem cell research brings just one breakthrough - just one of the many that our best scientists believe are possible - that breakthrough can mean all the difference in the world for the patients who benefit.

They cannot wait another year or another day for the help that stem cell research can bring - and we should not wait in aiding them.

We must take action here and now to end these unnecessary and harmful restrictions on lifesaving research.

Continuing the Administration's restrictions means that the gap between what scientists could do and what they are allowed to do grows ever wider.

Continuing the restrictions means that our nation's best scientists will go on having to waste precious time on pointless red tape and bureaucratic obstacles - time that should be spent on the search for new cures.

Continuing the restrictions means having to tell the patients who are counting on the promise of stem cell research, "Wait just a little longer. Dream just a little less. Hope just a little more faintly."

The Senate must act, just as the House has already done, to unlock the potential of stem cell research.

When the Congress has approved this needed legislation, we must turn our attention to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and urge the President of the United States not to veto the legislation that gives so much hope to so many.

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