Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) issued the following statement today in response to President Obama's decision to lift the ban on federal funding for stem cell research:
"President Obama's decision to lift the ban on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research offers renewed hope to millions of Americans afflicted with diabetes, leukemia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries and a host of other ailments," Hatch said. "It also is gratifying to those of us who have been strong advocates of this research and who have worked so hard over the past 7 years to overturn the ban, which has hampered our scientists from making progress to the fullest extent possible in this promising field of research that may hold the key to curing so many of the world's most deadly and debilitating diseases.
"I strongly believe that being pro-life means helping the living by allowing critically important and ethical medical research to go forward," the senator continued. "This research enhances, not diminishes, human life, and the President deserves credit for making that possible. Thanks to this decision, our nation's scientists will maintain their pre-eminence in biomedical research and proceed, in accordance with strict ethical guidelines, with finding cures for diseases that affect virtually every family."
Hatch is an original sponsor of the Stem Cell Research and Enhancement Act of 2009, which would allow federal dollars to be used to perform embryonic stem cell research with frozen embryos if those embryos are the product of in vitro fertilization and would otherwise be destroyed, and are voluntarily donated without compensation given to the donors.