This week, the House and Senate sent a bill, H.R. 810, to the President's desk for his approval. The bill supports federal funding for stem cell research using cells derived from embryos donated, with consent, from in vitro fertilization clinics. These embryos, smaller than the head of a pin, are currently stored in frozen vats or are thrown away. The stem cells that can be collected from the embryos have the potential to form any cell of the body: spinal cord, liver, kidney, skin. Think of the possibilities for the millions suffering from diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's disease, severe burns or paralysis.

Arguments about the ethical nature of stem cell research just don't hold water. I challenge anyone who questions the moral nature of this science to tour a medical research lab and see for themselves. The foundation for these arguments derives from ignorance. In my view, the real moral shame is in the dashed hopes of millions of Americans suffering from incurable diseases who must continue to wait for cures that may be just on the horizon.

As you may know, the President used the first veto of his administration to yield to the radical right and reject the bill. This action has thwarted efforts to invest federal dollars into this important research.

While it is true that stem cell research is legal in the United States, federal dollars that go to our universities are the keys to push such groundbreaking research forward. It is extremely disappointing that we've come so close to supporting this critical research but have missed the goal. I strongly support all stem cell research and will continue to fight for this cause.