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Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act Goes to the Senate

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act Round One:

In 2001, President Bush released federal funds for research using stem cells leftover from in-vitro fertilization attempts prior to August 9, 2001.

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act Round Two:

Congresswoman Diane DeGette of Colorado is a staunch supporter of blastocyst (embryonic) stem cell research. Ms. DeGette is part of a coalition that passed H.R. 810 (the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act) in the House over the objections of GOP leaders, Bush and social conservatives.

H.R. 810 was then passed by Congress in 2006 with a vote of 63 to 37. That’s only 4 votes short of a 2/3 majority.

Supporters held their breath while they hoped and prayed that federal funds would be released for research on hundreds of new lines of in-vitro blastocyst stem cell to be used for research regardless of the date they were fertilized.

Influenced by the opinion of politicians and members of the religious community, President Bush made a decision to veto H.R. 810. This had a heartbreaking impact on members of our society who have physical and medical disabilities hoping for treatments derived from the research on these microscopic cells.

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act Round Three:

Congresswoman DeGette and Representative Mike Castle reintroduced the bill as “H.R. 3” or S. 5 in 110th Congress in January 2007. The bill is set to go before the Senate soon, but President Bush has declared that he will veto this bill once again. However, if the bill passes the Senate with a 2/3 majority (67), Bush’s veto will fail.

As citizens, we must do something to help pass the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act in the Senate! We need the Stem Cell Research Enhancement to pass because:

Scientists need higher quality of stem cells to work with. Many of the “Bush-approved” lines have been contaminated with mouse feeder cells and cannot be used for research that might provide treatment for humans. The newer cell lines would not have animal feeders.

The technology used for harvesting blastocyst stem cells has improved greatly since August 2001. The bill, S. 5, will give researchers access to higher quality cultures than those fertilized prior to August 9, 2001. The newer cells renew more quickly for reproducibility and would include diversity in race and genetic types.

We need to turn the vote of just one Senator. We are one vote away, so please take a few minutes to send the sample letter found at to your Senator.

A new book titled Right to Recover: Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America is being published in the summer of 2007. Visit for more information about stem cell research.

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