By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-Life members of the U.S. House of Representatives this week urged congressional leaders to abandon federal funding of embryo-destructive stem cell research in favor of ethical adult stem cell research.
“We have moved beyond the ethical debate because we have something in hand that is the promise and the hope of regenerative medicine,” insisted Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) in a speech on the House floor Wednesday.
Smith and nine other pro-life Members of Congress discussed the breakthroughs and advantages of stem cell therapies that do not require the destruction of human life. The members said that adult stem cells from various sources have already been shown to cure or mitigate leukemia, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, sickle cell anemia, and dozens more.
“Human embryo-destroying stem cell research is not only unethical, unworkable and unreliable, it is now demonstrably unnecessary,” said Smith. “Adult stem cells … are truly remarkable. They work, they have no ethical baggage, and advances are made every day at a dizzying pace.
“Unlike embryonic stem cells that kill the donor, are highly unstable, have a propensity to morph into tumors and are likely to be rejected by the patient unless strong anti-rejection medicines are administered, induced pluripotent cells, stem cells, have none of those deficiencies and are emerging as the future, the greatest hope of regenerative medicine,” Smith stated.
These breakthroughs, he said, suggest that “the momentum has decisively and irrevocably swung to noncontroversial stem cell research like iPS cells and away from embryo-destroying research.”
But despite so much progress in the adult stem cell field, “the Obama administration and the House and Senate Democratic leadership remain obsessed with killing human embryos for experimentation at taxpayer expense,” said Smith.
“Why persist in the dehumanizing of nascent human life when better alternatives exist, alternatives that work on both ethics grounds and efficacy grounds? Nonembryonic stem cell research is the present and it is the future of regenerative medicine, and the only responsible way forward.”
Smith, who chairs or co-chairs several disability caucuses, says that, speaking as a passionate believer in pursuing cutting-edge therapy, “the future of regenerative medicine is with adult stem cells, including and especially non-embryonic but embryo-like induced pluripotent stem cells, iPS.
“That, iPS, has to become household word.”
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