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Congressman Aderholt Votes Against Taxpayer Funding for the Destruction of Human Embryos

June 7, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) today voted against a measure that would increase federal funding for and reverse current Administration policy regarding embryonic stem cell research, a controversial method that many feel destroys human life. S. 5, the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007,” passed the House this afternoon by a vote of 247 to 176. The bill now goes to President Bush who has stated his intention to veto it.

Congressman Aderholt stated, “The simple fact is many taxpayers have moral problems with their tax dollars going toward research that destroys human embryonic stem cells. Especially since viable research that doesn’t destroy embryos can be performed on adult stem cells. We all support tax dollars going to that type of research.”
“Medical and scientific research are worthy pursuits that are leading to life saving advances every day,” Congressman Aderholt continued. “Bills such as the one that passed today however suggest that embryonic stem cell research is the only path available to us. That’s just not the case, and as such, cannot justify the destruction of human life that this research entails.”

S. 5, the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007,” would expand the number of stem cell lines that are eligible for research funded by federal taxpayers. The goal of the bill is to accelerate scientific progress toward cures and treatments for a wide range of diseases and debilitating health conditions. Under the current federal policy on human embryonic stem cell research, only those stem cell lines derived before August 9, 2001, are eligible for federally funded research. This bill lifts that restriction. Stem cell lines shall be eligible for federally funded research regardless of the date on which they were derived.

Congressman Aderholt continued, “Since 2004, federal funding for research on adult stem cells has risen by 60%. This is important because this research doesn’t involve the destruction of human life and that is something everyone can support. It’s also significant that before 2001 this funding was nonexistent.”

If President Bush vetoes this bill as expected, it would then go back to the Senate to begin override proceedings. If overridden in the Senate it would then return to the House for a final vote.

“My fear is that in their rush to judgment, Washington liberals have ignored recent advances in favor of the latest fad, embryonic stem cell research. Just yesterday, researchers announced they have achieved the equivalent of “turning back time” by producing embryonic stem cells without destroying a human embryo. Instead of encouraging research such as this, Congress is passing legislation that destroys human embryos. I urge President Bush to veto this bill quickly and call on my House and Senate colleagues to uphold such a veto.”