Georgia Bills on Stem Cell Research Take Different Approaches

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia Bills on Stem Cell Research Take Different Approaches Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 25, 2006

Atlanta, GA ( — Two Georgia lawmakers have sponsored stem cell research bills that take radically different approaches to the issue. One furthers adult stem cell research, which has proven successful, while another touts embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to help any patients.

Both measures, introduced by Sen. David Shafer and Sen. David Adelman, respectively, would authorize panels to set up stem cell banks at universities in the state with either adult or embryonic stem cells.

Adelman, who is a Democrat, worded his measure to allow both adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells or the donation of human embryos to be destroyed for research.

But Shafer, chairman of the Senate Science and Technology Committee, told the Gwinnett Daily Post that his measure has a better chance of passing because it avoids the contentious debate about embryonic stem cells.

“Stem cell research has been hampered by the controversy over embryonic stem cells,’’ he said. “This bill is designed to move stem cell research forward by sidestepping the controversy.’’

Shafer’s bill, called "Delivering the Cure Act of 2006," creates the Georgia Commission for the Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Initiative and directs it to create a newborn cord blood bank in partnership with one or more public colleges or universities.

It also provides that every woman giving birth in Georgia will be told of the initiative and given the opportunity to donate the newborn baby’s umbilical cord blood.

In addition to the proposed tissue bank, Shafer’s bill also bans human cloning.

His measure already has 31 co-sponsors and enjoys the backing of Georgia Right to Life.

"Senator Shafer and others are to be commended for their diligent efforts to ensure wide support that addresses that the important issues regarding stem-cell research and cloning," the group said in a statement.

To view a copy of the Shafer bill, click on the following link:

Related web sites:
Georgia Right to Life –
Georgia State Legislature –