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Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 - Opposition

Date: 05/24/2005
Location: Washington, DC
Speech: Suellen W. Myrick


STEM CELL RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - May 24, 2005)

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 810.

I believe in the transforming and the lifesaving power of research and science, and I have seen firsthand how cutting-edge research can make a big difference in the lives of Americans who suffer with all sorts of diseases, and, I understand the value of federally funded research. I also support stem cell research.

However, this debate is not about the merits of scientific discovery. There is no ban on research for the limited number of IVF embryos on which such research would even be possible. This debate is about Federal tax dollars and whether these dollars should be spent on the destruction of embryos, which I do not support.

Supporters of this bill say we have nothing to lose by destroying existing embryos with Federal money because, after all, some of them will probably be discarded anyway. I would ask my colleagues to recall the reason why we do not conduct scientific research on Federal death row inmates.

Aren't they going to die anyway? By all accounts, death row inmates are not innocent lives-but we don't conduct destructive experiments on them because it would be ethically reprehensible. We certainly don't dedicate taxpayer funds for that purpose.

Those who've studied the implications of an embryonic stem cell research expansion know full well that Federal funding for the destruction of existing IVF embryos is no silver bullet for disease treatment. But that's how the bill will be sold on the floor today. H.R. 810 is merely the first step in an effort to spend federal money-not only on the destruction, but on the creation of cloned embryos for research. I ask my colleagues to join me in opposing this bill.

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