Stem Cell Bill Is about Helping People, Not Politics (Rep. Phil Hare)

There is hardly a single American who does not have a sick family member or friend that could benefit from the promise of embryonic stem cell research. Forty Nobel Prize-winning scientists believe that stem cell research can soon lead to the treatment and cures for a number of conditions-including cancer, leukemia, diabetes, Alzheimer's, spinal cord injuries, and Parkinson's disease.

I, too, am an American with a close friend whose life could improve dramatically through the scientific breakthroughs possible in stem cell research. That friend also happens to be my predecessor, former Congressman Lane Evans (D-Ill.), who served in Congress for over twenty years until he was forced to retire due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson's. This week, I will again vote in favor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 for Lane, the millions of people with potentially curable ailments, and the hundreds of millions of people who must watch their loved ones suffer. As the Association of American Medical Colleges says, stem cell research "will alleviate human suffering and improve the quality of human life."

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (S. 5) would increase the number of embryonic stem cell lines eligible for federally-funded research. President Bush's threatened veto is nothing more than political ideology under the guise of ethical concerns. In truth, this legislation has been crafted with the utmost attention to the ethical and moral implications. The bill ensures that the only embryonic stem cells used for research are those donated by fertilization clinics-embryos originally created for in vitro fertilization. The bill also stipulates that the embryos used for research would have otherwise been discarded. Finally, the bill requires that all donors of embryos sign their consent and do not receive monetary compensation.

Embryonic stem cell research is logical, ethical, and moral. For the health and well-being of millions of Americans, President Bush should sign S. 5 into law.