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Public Statements

Lifting The Ban On Stem Cell Research

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. YARMUTH. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud President Obama's executive order lifting the ban on Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

I join scientists across the country, especially researchers at the University of Louisville, who are excited about the opportunities that expanded research presents.

But as we all know, there is another dimension to this issue, and it involves moral questions about the use of discarded embryos for scientific purposes. I fully respect the views of those who raise moral objections to embryonic stem cell research; their convictions are just as valid and unassailable as the scientific arguments made about the potential of stem cell research. On the other side, however, are equally valid and, to my mind, unassailable moral arguments that support President Obama's decision this week. They are analogous to the arguments made in support of organ donation and transplantation. Here, human material that has the potential to save life is not being squandered.

Like those who raise moral objections to stem cell research, I would have problems with the production of embryos for scientific purposes, but to me, the destruction of embryos that can be used to advance science in the service of life raises similar moral problems.

I congratulate President Obama on his action.

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