Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Huge Victory in Texas Legislature for Pro-Life movement
State Reps Charlie Howard and Robert Talton who are seeking the CD 22 nomination for Tom Delay's seat are singled out for special mention.
HUGE VICTORY in Texas Legislature on stopping tax-funded embryonic stem cell research and cloning. Thanks for your help!
FROM: Joe Pojman, Ph.D., Executive Director
DATE: May 19, 2006
At the end of the Special Legislative Session at the Capitol, we scored a MAJOR VICTORY in the state Legislature in the effort to prevent state tax-dollars from being used for research that involves the destruction of human embryos -- embryonic stem cell research and cloning.
This win is HUGE, the FIRST VICTORY on this critical issue EVER in Texas! Very few states have managed to do anything similar. In fact, the anti-life lobby in several states, including New Jersey and California, have prevailed and passed measures to actually fund human embryonic stem cell research.
We strongly support stem cell research, so long as that research involves only adult (and cord blood) stem cells. Obtaining adult stem cells does not harm the donor. Doctors are now using adult stem cells almost routinely to cure and save lives. We oppose research involving human embryonic stem cells and cloning because these can only be done by destroying human embryos -- life at the earliest stages. No one has ever been cured of any disease using embryonic stem cells. The FDA has approved no therapies using embryonic stem cells (See more information below.)
The win was sealed Monday, the last day of the special legislative session, when the House voted to concur with the Senate's pro-life amendments to House Bill 153, a massive bill that creates more than 60 new buildings on public universities.
The initial versions of H.B. 153 (and the Senate companion, S.B. 46) authorized the creation of and provided funding for research centers at which human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning were intended by several legislators and members of the research community to be performed. A pro-life amendment offered in the House last week stripped out funding for one such research center in Houston. The Senate version added further protections.
Thank you for your support! During the 10 days after Texas Alliance for Life and other pro-life organizations put out alerts, thousands of pro-life calls flooded the Capitol. So large was the number of calls that some legislators' voice mail filled up. These calls were decisive in turning the tide of momentum in our favor!
Without the support of the leadership in the Capitol -- (l. to r.) Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Tom Craddick -- this victory would not have been possible. Now that we have achieved a victory please send a short email to each expressing our appreciation. (Just click on each name.)
SAMPLE MESSAGE: (please use your own words)
Thank you for supporting pro-life amendments in H.B. 153 that removed tax funding for research that involves human embryonic stem cells and cloning. I strongly support adult stem cells research (including cord blood stem cells). This research does not harm the donor and has proven to be very productive. Thousands of people are alive because of adult stem cell transplants.
I strongly opposed tax-funded research on human embryonic stem cells and cloning because these require the destruction of innocent human embryos. No one has ever been cured of any disease using embryonic stem cells. The FDA has not even approved the use of embryonic stem cells in any therapies.
Pro-life efforts in each chamber were lead by (l. to r.) Sen. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan), Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), and Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford). Each worked effectively to ensure that tax dollars were not used for the highly unethical research, and their leadership was indispensable. Many other members played a significant role, including Rep. Dan Gattis (R-Georgetown), Rep. Charlie Howard (R-Sugar Land), Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena), and Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington).
The initial version of H.B. 153 / S.B. 46 had serous problems that were corrected by changes in the House and Senate. That version authorized and funded a $41,000,000 biomedical research facility at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, where research on human embryonic stem cells and closing was planned. There were other problems.
During House floor debate on H.B. 153 on May 11, 2006, the embryonic stem cell issue in H.B. 153 became very apparent. When Rep. Geanie Morrison introduced a pro-life amendment to remove the Houston facility from the bill because that facility "brought several problems for members," embryonic stem cell advocates immediately protested. "As I understand it, the problem or one of the problems you are talking about is the [human embryonic] stem cell research issue?" asked Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine). "Correct," replied Morrison. The reason for the amendment was ". . . because there are members in this body who are opposed to [embryonic] stem cell research, right?" echoed Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) after expressing her support for embryonic stem cell funding.
To watch the archived video of the debate, click HERE and begin at "1:25".
- EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS -- The pro-life movement opposes research involving human embryonic stem cells and cloning because these require the destruction of human embryos -- human life at its earliest stages.
- For a pro-life response, see the letter from "Texans for Ethical Research" on H.B. 6, a bill debated last summer which is virtually identical to H.B. 153. The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops recently released a statement opposing human embryonic stem cell research.
- Last summer the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution opposing embryonic stem cell research.
- No one has ever been cured of any disease using human embryonic stem cells. The FDA has not approved any therapies involving them.
- ADULT STEM CELLS: The pro-life movement supports research on stem cells, as long as they are "adult" stem cells (including umbilical cord blood stem cells). Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are obtained without harming the donor. Adult stem cells reside in many places in our bodies -- blood, bone marrow, certain nerves, fat, and others, including umbilical cord blood. Research on adult stem cells is ethical and productive. Here are some examples of this exciting and productive life-saving treatments using adult stem cells:
- Texas Heart Institute Stem Cell Center -- Heart disease treated using adult stem cells.
- The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston -- Traumatic brain injury in children treated with adult stem cells.
- Texas Cord Blood Bank -- People with cancer and other diseases are treated using adult stem cells from umbilical cord blood.
- CBS News Story (May 8, 2006) -- North Texas woman is treated for lupus with adult stem cells.
- As always, we appreciate your support, especially financial. The more financial support we receive, the more pro-life work we can do. Visit our website at http://www.texasallianceforlife.org/ or click -HERE-.
- Would you like a speaker from Texas Alliance for Life to make a presentation to your pro-life group, church, business association, etc., on this very critical issue? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.