Gov. Doyle: Urges US Senate to Pass Key Stem Cell Bill

WEST SALEM – With a showdown looming in the US Senate over stem cell research, Governor Jim Doyle today urged Senators to pass H.R. 810, critical bipartisan legislation which would lift President Bush’s ban on federal funding for research on new stem cell lines.  Governor Doyle met with the Samuel and Marcie Petersen of West Salem, who has a personal stake in the potential life-saving research because their son Adam lives with juvenile diabetes.

“These families and countless like them hope that science may one day unlock the cures to diseases long thought incurable,” Governor Doyle said.  “We cannot turn our backs on these families.  I’m urging the Senate to allow funding for new research, and pass this important legislation.”

On August 9, 2001, President Bush announced he would ban all federal funding for research done on stem cell lines derived after that date.  Last year the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill that would permit the Secretary of Health and Human Services to fund research on new stem cell lines.  In June of 2005, the bill was put on the US Senate calendar, and is scheduled to be taken up on Tuesday.  President Bush has already threatened to make this bill the first veto of his presidency.

H.R. 810 lifts the barriers on stem cell research that could lead to treatments and cures for a wide range of debilitating diseases and conditions, while imposing ethical guidelines that are stricter than those currently in place.  The legislation greatly expands scientists’ access to new, healthy, uncontaminated stem cell lines that are off-limits to federally funded research under the current restrictions.  H.R. 810 has overwhelming, bipartisan support in congress, and is supported by major medical and scientific associations, research universities and institutions, and patient advocacy groups. 

Governor Doyle met with Samuel and Marcie Petersen of West Salem, and their 5-year-old son Adam.  Adam lives with juvenile diabetes, and will be insulin dependent until a cure for diabetes is found.  Adam is on an insulin pump, which requires him to test his blood sugar multiple times a day and adjust it accordingly.