Bill Reintroduced to Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research Alternatives

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 8, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bill Reintroduced to Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research Alternatives Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 8
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Two Congressional representatives have reintroduced legislation that would have the federal government fund embryonic stem cell research alternatives instead of the controversial science that involves the destruction of human life.

Republican Reps. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland and Phil Gingrey of Georgia plan to introduce a bill tomorrow that would serve as an alternative to a measure House Democrats have set up for a vote Thursday.

The Bartlett-Gingrey legislation authorizes federal funding for research to derive pluripotent (embryonic-like) stem cell lines without creating or destroying human embryos.

In a statement sent to, the congressmen say their bill is important as new surfaces that researchers at Wake Forest University have found new embryonic-like stem cells in amniotic fluid.

They say the news "the critical importance of funding alternative research not covered by the [House Democrat] bill."

“With the accelerated federal funding under our bill, there could be rapid progress expanding the number of ethical pluripotent stem cell lines for research," Bartlett, who has a doctorate in human physiology, said.

Gingrey, a medical doctor, added that the bill "allows Congress to side-step the moral questions surrounding embryonic stem cell research."

"In America, we do things the right way," he said. "We don’t take organs from death row prisoners because they are ‘going to die anyway.’ Neither should we steal the life of a fertilization clinic embryo just because there’s a chance it won’t be used to impregnate a woman."

Both members complained that Democrats, who won control of the House in the November Congressional elections, are not giving their bill consideration.

"The Democrats are unwilling to fund promising ethical alternatives to [their bill]," Gingrey said. "This is a misuse of taxpayer dollars.”

The pair said new Democrat majority has given no indication they will bring up any alternative to H.R. 3, "Showing their leadership’s commitment only to stem cell research that destroys human life."

Last July, the House voted 273-154 for the Bartlett bill under a special rule requiring it to have a two-thirds vote to be approved. Despite the lopsided bipartisan vote for the bill, lawmakers failed to reach the mark and send the bill to President Bush, who vowed to sign it.

The Senate had approved the measure 100-0 earlier that day.