Endorsements for S.B. 148

The Macon Telegraph this morning weighed in in favor of S.B. 148, Senator Shafer’s stem cell bill.

There is a philosophical battle going on in conservative circles about stem cell research. Stem cell research holds the promise that these tiny cells that can become any part of the body and might be the cure for several diseases and conditions. Terminology has muddled the picture. Embryonic stem cells, the source of the controversy, taken from a tiny embryo, is just one source of stem cells. There are adult stem cells, animal stem cells and cord blood stem cells. Adult stem cells are less versatile than embryonic and cord blood stem cells. While embryonic stem cell research is hampered by the lack of federal dollars due to a 2006 prohibition signed by President Bush because harvesting the cells destroys the embryo, there is no such problem with cord blood cells discovered in 2005. Cord cells are taken from the umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid, tissue that is routinely discarded as medical waste after the birth of a baby.

The Telegraph joins the Savannah Morning News, Gwinnett Daily Post, Albany Herald, and Rockdale Citizen in supporting this bill. I hear that there will be more high profile endorsements of the measure coming soon.

4 comments

  1. ConservativeCaucus says:

    One would hope that this is something that nearly everyone can agree on. I appreciate Senators Staton and Shafer for their work on this.

  2. James Kelly says:

    Senator David Shafer’s Senate Bill 148, Saving the Cure Act, is very aptly named. In my opinion SB 148 exactly as written promotes and protects the health and welfare of all who look to science with hope.

    Ten years ago I was paralyzed by a spinal cord injury. Before that I enjoyed a 20+ year problem-solving career in heavy industry. Since becoming paralyzed I’ve intensively studied the practical issues that need to be resolved in order for many diseases and disabilities to be effectively treated or cured. Five years ago I became active in the nation’s ‘stem cells and human cloning’ debates – not because of religious or moral concerns – but because I hope walk again and so that countless others might see similar dreams fulfilled. I became active because I realized that the public was not being told the “practical” truths of these issues.

    It is very sad that SB 148, which seeks to provide a safe harbor for cord blood and adult stem cell research, is being attacked by embryonic stem cell research advocates…sad, but not unexpected.

    My view of the ‘stem cells and cloning’ issues differs from most activists on either side of these issues. Most who oppose embryonic stem cell research (and human cloning) oppose the destruction of human life, including its fetal and embryonic stages, for research or commercial uses. Many who support such research believe that religious values are blocking their ‘miracle cures.’ In my opinion the underlying motive that drives these issues concerns colossal amounts of money.

    Efforts by embryonic stem cell proponents to undermine SB-148 by amending its wording expose the reality of this contention.

    Consider this: The “Saving the Cure” act bans nothing. However, by confining its stem cell research support to “non-destructive” research options, including cord blood and adult stem cell research, SB 148 presents a far greater threat to the embryonic stem cell/human cloning financial agenda than any legislative ban – because cord blood and adult stem cell potentials for offering practical, foreseeable solutions to disability and disease threaten the pretexts for future decades of basic research and non-profit funding cloaked in the guise of “looking for cures.”

    Elsewhere on this site an ardent embryonic stem cell advocate posted highly publicized claims by embryonic stem cell researchers – claims that my investigations suggest overlook or grossly distort the practical [research and medical] realities of these issues. The following quotes are also by leading scientific experts in embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.

    “I don’t want to sound too pessimistic because this [embryonic stem cell-based treatments] is all doable, but it’s going to be very hard. Those transplantation therapies should work but it’s likely to take a long time.” Dr. James Thomson, co-discoverer of human embryonic stem cells.

    “I am not entirely convinced that embryonic stem cells will, in my lifetime and possibly [in] anybody’s lifetime for that matter, be holding quite the promise that we desperately hope they will.” British stem cell expert Lord Winston.

    “It should keep a lot of us in business for a long time.” Prof. Ian Wilmut, creator of Dolly the Sheep, speaking of the potential for cloning researchers to overcome just one of cloning’s complex problems, called genetic imprinting.

    “People need a fairy tale to believe in.” Dr. Ron McKay, NIH ‘embryonic stem cells for Parkinson’s Disease’ researcher, explaining why scientists haven’t tried to correct the myth that embryonic stem cells can be used to treat or cure Alzheimer’s Disease.

    In naming SB 148 the “Saving the Cure” act, Senator Shafer hit the nail on the head. The public’s research resources can be used to promote and protect long-range basic research funding, potential biotech patents, and existing pharmaceutical revenues…or they can be used to promote the efficient development of medical treatments and cures. But make no mistake, there’s no middle ground, which is why embryonic stem cell proponents are seeking to gut this bill.

    By creating a safe haven for “non-destructive” cord blood and adult stem cell research – a haven that seeks to broaden their already successful medical and research uses – the government of Georgia would create a practical vehicle for reaching our medical goals.

    I respectfully ask the legislators of Georgia to pass SB 148, the Saving the Cure Act, exactly as submitted by Senator Shafer with no amendments.

    James Kelly
    Director, The Cures 1st Foundation, Inc.

    More on these subjects by this author can be found in Human Events Online, The National Review Online, The Seoul Times, and at http://www.cures1st.blogspot.com.

  3. JasonW says:

    While i do realize that this is off topic, I would like to say that best argument I have ever witnessed over this issue was from about 2 or 3 years ago when Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) took to the floor of the house in opposition to funding embryonic stem cell research. I wish I could get a copy of her speech, or the CSPAN tape of it. It was great.

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