Crenshaw on the President's Decision to Federally Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research


Date: March 9, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

Crenshaw on the President's Decision to Federally Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Congressman Calls for Bipartisan Solutions that Promote Both Science and the Sanctity of Life

Today Rep. Ander Crenshaw issued the following statement regarding the President's signing of an Executive Order that will allow controversial embryonic stem-cell research to be funded with federal tax dollars:

"At a time when the President is calling for national unity to face the current economic crisis, it is greatly disappointing that he would sign an executive order that is highly divisive and appalling to so many Americans. While I fully support medical research for future cures and treatments, we must continue to uphold and defend the sanctity of human life.

"With recent developments in research, adult stem cell and other forms of non-embryonic stem cell research now show just as much promise and do not require the destruction of human embryos. In fact, in many instances adult stem cell research has proven to be more effective, because they are already partly specialized, reducing the amount of time and effort needed to create stems cells for certain functions.

"Ironically, just a week ago, the research journal Nature published a report in which researchers described a safer way to reprogram ordinary human skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells. In 2007 research accomplished the same feat, but used a virus, which researchers fear can cause cancer in patients.

"Stem cell research may indeed hold the key to curing many debilitating and life-threatening diseases, but we must not be cavalier about the loss of a life, no matter how small or how young. I have always been and always will be pro-life and a staunch defender of the unborn.

"I call upon the President to revisit this decision and find a bipartisan solution like H.R. 877, the Patients First Act, which would strengthen research and human clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and that show evidence of providing near-term clinical benefit for human patients. Such legislation would encourage the creation of pluripotent stem cell lines without the creation, destruction, or discarding of human embryos.

"There are ways in which science and the sanctity of life can coexist and thrive together. We must stop pretending, for political purposes, that such avenues do not exist."