Supporting Stem Cell Research

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 3, the Stem Cell Research Advancement Act of 2007.

In California, we have devoted State funds, nearly $300 million a year, to pursuing research on embryonic stem cells, and it has helped make California a destination for researchers on the cutting edge of biotechnology. But the promise of stem cell therapies will not benefit just the people of California, but all Americans, and indeed the entire world. Shutting the National Institute of Health out of this research is misguided, and turns our back on the many millions who may benefit from the cures it may provide.

More than five years after the Administration instituted restrictions on Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, the promise of this potential line of treatment is greater than ever.

There are those who suggest that research on adult stem cells is equally promising and has produced new therapies--and I welcome further research in that area. But we, as legislators, should not prejudge which avenues are most promising. We should leave the science to the scientists.

Embryonic stem cells have the potential to transform the way we treat diseases that afflict millions of Americans. There is not a person in America who doesn't know someone who suffers from diabetes or Alzheimer's or cancer or heart disease, and embryonic stem cell research hold tremendous promise for the treatment of each of those, along with many other potential therapies.

Medical and biological ethics are a serious issue and we can have differences of opinion, but I believe that a commitment to lifesaving medical research that holds the potential to cure diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer's is consistent with a commitment to the sanctity of human life.

Last year, I voted to override the President's veto of this important legislation. I hope the President will reconsider his opposition, and it will not be necessary to vote on an override again.