For years, it has been the position of both the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation that stem cell research is vital. Many others, including Mary Tyler Moore, Nancy Reagan, and Ron Reagan agree. And on January 11, the US House of Representatives again agreed, by again passing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The text of the Act may be found at the Library of Congress website, at H. R. 3.
According to a JDRF press release I read today, “The passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act marks an important milestone in the drive to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and related complications,” said Lawrence Soler, Vice President for Government Relations at JDRF. “While nobody knows where the next generation of treatments and therapies for type 1 diabetes will come from, today’s actions send a loud and clear signal that this field of research should be fully explored. I hope that the Senate, where stem cell research also enjoys strong bi-partisan support, will act quickly on the legislation to expand federal support for this rapidly emerging and promising field of research.”
There are, however, people who feel that this type of research is immoral. And the President of the United States is one of them. He has promised to again veto the pending legislation -- and it is questionable whether congressional advocates can muster the two thirds majority required to override a veto. Bush last year vetoed a similar bill and limited federally funded research to 21 lines of embryonic cells created before 2001, some of which scientists say have been compromised or corrupted. It was his only veto.
So what to do? First, if you haven’t already done so, contact your legislators and offer your opinion. (More information on how to do so is at Act Now! House Votes This Week on Stem Cell Legislation. The more legislators hear from people in their legislative district, the more likely they are to vote for stem cell research.
Next, realize that the President will veto this bill.
Finally, if enough legislators hear enough from enough of their constituents, there’s a chance that the veto will be overriden by the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. That’s the key reason to contact your legislators!
Published On: January 16, 2007