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Stem Cell Research

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

STEM CELL RESEARCH -- (House of Representatives - March 11, 2009)


Mr. OLSON. I thank the chairman of the Pro-Life Caucus, my good friend from New Jersey, for leading this discussion tonight on this critical issue, and I want to identify myself with the comments of the speakers who preceded me, the chairman, Chairman Pence, Dr. Broun and our good friend, Congressman Jordan, for their impassioned comments in defense of innocent life.

I rise today out of grave concern over President Obama's decision yesterday to lift restrictions on Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. His decision is financially overburdensome, scientifically unnecessary and morally offensive.

The President's new executive order opens the door to Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Tremendous results have already been found using adult stem cells in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease. Creating more lines of pluripotent stem cells should be our continued focus. It's more versatile. You don't have to deal with the issues of rejection, and it doesn't take an innocent life.

This administration continues a disturbing path of spending taxpayer dollars on programs and policies that are deeply offensive to millions of Americans, placing questionable science ahead of morality. Taxpayers are being asked to support an increasingly bloated Federal Government, and yet the administration is moving research from private funding to take advantage of money from President Obama's economic recovery package for further study of embryonic stem cells.

How does the destruction of human life help our economy recover, how does that create jobs? It doesn't, and this most recent action by the administration is another example of a step too far.

We must not forget the fundamental role of government in our lives, protecting its citizens, particularly the most innocent among us. This administration has not been in office yet for 2 months, and, yet, three times, it has already overturned some basic security rights of our citizens. It has forced men and women who do not want their money spent on morally objectionable scientific research to fund research.

They have removed rules that protect medical providers who declined to perform abortions due to moral and religious reasons. And now they have failed to protect the most innocent among us by opening the door to embryo research and a senseless discarding of American life.

I'd like to make a couple of comments about the importance of ultrasounds for women who are pregnant. These are personal comments.

God has blessed my family. We have two children; a daughter, who's 12, and a son, who's 8. When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, our first child, she had an ultrasound at 13 weeks. We still have that ultrasound. Have it on our refrigerator door.

If you look at that ultrasound, you look at the profile of that young human life, and you look at the profile of my daughter today as a 12-year-old, thriving kid in sixth grade, there is absolutely no difference. Kate was a person then, she's a person now. And we need to protect the innocent life. And ultrasounds made available to women who are pregnant only are common sense.

Again, I thank my colleague from New Jersey for spearheading this important debate, and I yield back the floor. Thank you.


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