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TFN Condemns Irresponsible Vote for Ban on Stem Cell Research Funding

State Affairs Committee’s Snap Vote Is a Sneak Attack on Patients and Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2007

AUSTIN The president of the Texas Freedom Network today sharply condemned Friday’s snap vote by the House State Affairs Committee to bar state funding for promising medical research involving embryonic stem cells.

“This vote was a sneak attack on patients and families,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “It’s a shameful case of putting politics ahead of science as well as patients and their families who are looking to this promising medical research for hope.”

The State Affairs Committee’s vote was on House Bill 225 by state Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney. Paxton’s bill would bar state funding for any biomedical research for which federal funding was prohibited on January 1 of this year. The effect of the bill would be to tie the hands of state policy makers by prohibiting any state funding for embryonic stem cell research even if Congress or a future administration lifts the federal ban on public funding for this medical research.

H.B. 225 was the only bill considered by the committee that would bar or restrict stem cell research. All of the other bills considered by the committee, including H.B. 2704 by Rep. Beverly Woolley, R-Houston, would protect or promote this vital research.

The committee heard testimony from stem cell research supporters until nearly 6 a.m. on Friday. Later that afternoon, however, Chairman David Swinford, R-Dumas, called a snap vote on H.B. 225 in the middle of discussion on a completely unrelated bill (H.B. 13). Most committee supporters of stem cell research were out of the room at the time.

Miller pointed to national polls (http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm#Stem) that show a large and growing majority of Americans support medical research involving both embryonic and adult stem cells. Scientists believe that research involving embryonic stem cells holds the strongest promise for developing treatments for medical conditions such as spinal cord injuries, cancer, juvenile diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

“This sneaky vote was just a cheap political maneuver that ignores the will of Texans and the outcry from patients and their families,” Miller said.

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who advance a mainstream agenda supporting public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.

 

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