For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Cowan
P: 603 271-3077
F: 603 271-3027
New Hampshire Senate Democrats Denounce Passage of Stripped Stem Cell Research Resolution
CONCORD, NH - The New Hampshire Senate Democrats today denounce passage of an amended version of SCR 6, a Senate Resolution initially introduced to urge the United States Congress to take legislative action regarding embryonic stem cell research. Federal legislation supporting embryonic stem cell research passed the U.S. House, cosponsored by Rep. Bradley, but awaits Senate action in Washington.
SCR 6, as introduced, encouraged passage of the federal legislation, providing funding of embryonic stem cell research under the condition that the cells used are freely donated embryos otherwise destined to be discarded from in vitro fertilization treatment. SCR 6 was amended by a floor amendment in a last minute maneuver designed to render the original intent of the resolution useless.
The focus of the debate shifted from supporting embryonic stem cell research to an amendment introduced by Sen. Bragdon, R-District 11, striking the word embryonic from the resolution. "By removing the word embryonic the amendment has stripped the resolution of all meaning. The amended resolution no longer has any bearing on the debate occurring in Washington regarding embryonic stem cell research", explained Sen. Estabrook, D-District 21.
"The potential benefits of cell based therapies, the most promising treatment for most degenerative diseases, combined with their potential use in testing drugs more effectively, makes embryonic stem cell research a cutting edge realm of science," continued Sen. Estabrook, prime sponsor of SCR 6. "However, the amendment limiting New Hampshire's support of stem cell research to adult stem cells is simply a smoke screen intended to disguise opposition to the life saving potential of embryonic stem cell research."
Research on other types of stem cells has been going on for over 35 years and while producing some advances in treatment, does not have the great potential contained in embryonic stem cell research.
"This resolution does not reflect the feeling of the majority of New Hampshire residents," concluded Sen. D'Allesandro, D-District 20. "We believe that embryonic stem cell research presents unique scientific opportunity, and are saddened by the passage of this meaningless legislation."