Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) is in the AJC today writing in support of his stem cell bill:
SB 596 creates a network of blood and tissue banks to collect stem cells from the umbilical cord and placental tissues that are routinely thrown away after each newborn delivery. These tissues are rich in stem cells which may be used for scientific research and medical treatment. In fact, more than 65 treatments and cures have already been developed from these stem cells, and treatments for many more diseases are currently being studied.
In testimony before the Senate Science and Technology Committee, many of the state’s leading doctors, scientists and health care organizations urged passage of SB 596, saying it would advance research, cure disease and alleviate human suffering.
Those same doctors, scientists and health care organizations endorsed the prohibition on human cloning, saying that it would redirect scarce resources from dubious science to the development of cures and treatments for injury and disease.
The proponents of human cloning, like the proponents of eugenics, hide behind the language of pseudoscience. They have misrepresented the intent and effect of SB 596, causing unfortunate confusion that has made honest discussion of this issue difficult. Even worse, they have frightened some of the very people the bill was drafted to help.