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Kulongoski, Smith, Others Call on President Bush to Sign Stem Cell Research Bill (AUDIO)Salem-News.com Audio News Report
Both say that new research could lead to dramatic health care innovations.
(SALEM) - As the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (HR 810) moves through Congress, Governor Kulongoski, Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, and others urged passage of the health care initiative.
"Stem cell research holds the potential to significantly benefit as many as 100 million Americans with new cures for some of the world’s most deadly diseases," the Governor said. "I urge the Bush administration not to play politics with important scientific research that could save many lives and lead to dramatic health care innovations."
The Governor conveyed the message in a letter co-signed by Governors Tom Vilsack of Iowa, Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, and Jon Corzine of New Jersey urging approval of HR 810. The measure is expected to pass the Senate on Tuesday and be affirmed by the House on Wednesday. If necessary, the House will attempt a veto override on Thursday.
The letter states, "Every day, thousands of families in our states struggle as a loved one suffers from juvenile diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and other conditions that might be cured if the President's restrictions are lifted. For nearly five years, these families have been forced to wait as the Bush policy has obstructed this vital research. It would be unconscionable to make them wait any longer."
The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct and support research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo, provided such embryos meet the following requirements:
(1) They have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics;
(2) They were created for the purposes of fertility treatment;
(3) They were in excess of the needs of the individuals seeking such treatment and would never be implanted in a woman, and would otherwise be discarded (as determined in consultation with the individuals seeking fertility treatment); and
(4) They were donated by people who had received written informed consent without any financial or other inducements.
The Senate vote Tuesday to expand federal funding for stem cell research got the support of all four senators from Oregon and Washington.
The vote fell four votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. President Bush has indicated he will reject the bill.
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