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Stem Cell Research No. 178

Adopted 2004
Amended 2005

There is widespread support for embryonic stem cell research in the scientific community worldwide. Stem cell research offers promise in the treatment of a wide range of diseases and disabilities including leukemia, lymphoma, diabetes, advanced kidney cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and several inherited blood disorders.

Despite this, the Bush administration has placed strict limits on this vital research by banning the use of embryonic stem cell lines created after August 2001. The 22 cell lines provided by Bush's policy are wholly insufficient: these are not disease specific, lack genetic variability, and are contaminated with animal cells.

Some states fund stem cell research. However, investment cannot be maximized without federal oversight and support. Without action, our country risks losing its historic lead in the field of biomedical research.

Responding to widespread support from within the scientific community and the public at large, the House has passed a bipartisan bill that would provide federal funds for increased embryonic stem cell research. Despite the fact that the bill proposes limiting the research to embryos that would otherwise have been destroyed, President Bush has vetoed the bill twice.

Bush's position is out of touch with the public and many of his Republican colleagues. Polling shows that most American people believe further embryonic stem-cell research to be morally acceptable, and fifty GOP Congressmen broke with their party to vote with the Democrats to fund stem cell research. Prominent GOP Senators such as Orin Hatch (R-UT), and Gordon Smith (R-OR) also support increased federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. Senator Smith spoke for many of his colleagues when he declared: "In the field of medicine, there's no such thing as Republican science or Democrat science; there's just science."

ADA believes that our government has a responsibility to do everything within its means to help end debilitating diseases that affect millions every year.

ADA urges President Bush and Congress to fund and support embryonic stem cell research, including research involving embryos unused for in-vitro fertilization.

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No. 178

Social and Domestic Policy Commission