WASHINGTON (July 18, 2006)—Gail Quinn, Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, said that by approving a bill to encourage the destruction of human embryos for their stem cells "the U.S. Senate has done a disservice to human life and to the cause of medical progress."
Ms. Quinn commented on congressional action (July 18) regarding three stem cell research bills, including H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.
This is the text of Ms. Quinn's statement:
"By approving a bill to encourage the destruction of human embryos for their stem cells today, the U.S. Senate has done a disservice to human life and to the cause of medical progress. No technical achievement is 'progress' if it takes us backwards in respect for human life. H.R. 810's focus on research that destroys embryos also ignores effective and morally acceptable treatments using adult and umbilical cord stem cells, which have already begun to treat patients with dozens of illnesses. Because it takes resources away from these effective avenues, the drive for embryonic stem cell research actually threatens to harm patients themselves.
Today Congress is also expected to give final approval to two bills on stem cell research that respect the claims of both science and ethics. S. 2754 will fund avenues for obtaining very versatile stem cells without involving human embryos. S. 3504 will prevent the grotesque abuse of 'fetus farming,' by which researchers would grow human embryos to the fetal stage in order to harvest and use their body parts. Both these proposals are welcome and much needed. We hope and expect that President Bush will sign them into law as he vetoes the bill promoting the destruction of early human life."