6th District, Maryland
Friday, July 29, 2005
Cell Research: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett Says, "It is Morally
Reprehensible and Not Necessary to Destroy Human Embryos to Provide
Raw Fodder for Scientific Research. However, It Will Be A Loss for the
U.S. if President Bush Doesnt Have an Embryonic Stem-Cell Alternative
on His Desk to Sign When He Vetoes H.R. 810."
In the first of a series of events on July 29 related to stem cell research,
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett said, I was very disappointed in the
position announced by Senator Frist. I believe that it is morally reprehensible
and not necessary to destroy human embryos to provide raw fodder for
scientific research. However, it will be a loss for the United States
if President Bush does not have an embryonic stem-cell research bill
to sign when he vetoes HR 810 and he will veto it. That could
cost years in federal contributions to embryonic stem cell research.
Congressman Bartlett made the remarks at a news conference after the
announcement by Senator Frist.
Congressman Bartlett then led an effort by 13 House Republicans who
signed a letter to President Bush urging him "to take advantage
of a unique opportunity to advance embryonic stem cell research without
creating or harming embryos by urging support and passage of H.R. 3144,
the Respect for Life Pluripotent Stem Cell Act of 2005.
Instead of dividing our nation over this issue, this bill will bridge
the gap between the ethical and scientific dilemmas other stem cell
legislation presents." A copy of the letter is attached.
Later in the day, Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced
a companion, or identical, bill to H.R. 3144 in the Senate.
Finally, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett discussed his bill,
H.R. 3144, and the science that supports embryonic stem cell research
without harming embryos in a one-hour Special Order Speech to the U.S.
House of Representatives. The C-SPAN toll-free number for copies of
floor speeches is 1-877-662-7726.
A copy of the Special Order can be downloaded from the Internet using
the Thomas Search Engine. http://www.Thomas.loc.gov.Search the Congressional Record by key word "stem cell,"
House Member alpha scroll "Roscoe G. Bartlett" and date "on"
Congressman Bartlett has introduced H.R. 3144, a bill developed with
technical assistance from the Administration that would authorize $15
million in Fiscal Year 2006 and such sums as may be necessary
for each of the fiscal years 2007 through 2010 and DIRECTS the
NIH to conduct research on animals to develop alternative techniques
to derive pluripotent stem cell lines without creating or harming embryos.
Congressman Bartlett said he was confident that H.R. 3144 would be signed
into law by President Bush.
Congressman Bartlett is the ONLY Member of Congress who is a scientist
with a P.hD. in Human Physiology, advanced coursework in embryology,
20 patents and who has conducted basic and applied medical research,
including at NIH.
In No Airtight Case for Embryo Biopsy, (Roll Call, Letters,
July 20) Kathy Hudson (Director, Genetics and Public Policy Center,
Johns Hopkins University) argued eloquently that it is ethically reprehensible
to biopsy a healthy human embryo to provide raw fodder for scientific
research, said Bartlett. I agree. That is why the Bartlett
bill, HR 3144, directs the National Institutes of Health to conduct
research on only animals to explore alternative techniques of deriving
pluripotent stem-cell lines without creating or harming embryos.
Bartlett noted, Hudson and other proponents of HR 810 dont
discuss the ethics of destroying a healthy embryo to provide raw fodder
for scientific research. However, that is precisely what occurs with
the current technique of deriving embryonic stem-cell lines. H.R. 810
would approve spending federal taxpayers dollars to destroy healthy
human embryos to provide raw fodder for scientific research.
There have already been 1,000 healthy babies born worldwide after
undergoing PreImplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PIGD) biopsy as eight-celled
embryos, noted Bartlett. The exact stage at which human
embryos are currently destroyed, the blastocyst stage, is also a stage
at which embryos divide completely in half and produce identical twins.
One of my grandmothers died from Lou Gehrigs disease,
said Bartlett. My mother died from Alzheimers and my heart
breaks when I meet children suffering from Juvenile Diabetes. I also
have a 100% pro-life voting record. That is why, as a scientist with
a Ph.D. in human physiology, I strongly advocate research using pluripotent
stem-cell lines that may be derived from several sources, including
from embryos without creating or harming them. This must be proved in
animals first. Taking a human embryos life in the hopes of someday
helping other humans is ethically reprehensible to me.
A person is a person no matter how small, said Bartlett.
That includes every single embryo. Each is a distinct and genetically
unique human with the capacity to develop into a baby. Each could become
the next Einstein or Beethoven. There have already been 100 Snowflake
babies from discarded embryos.
Derive pluripotent stem cell lines by destroying
Pluripotent stem cells produce every kind of tissue
of human beings
Adult stem cells are being used for dozens of treatments
for human patients
Unproven WITHOUT Research
Pluripotent stem cells may produce more/better/different
treatments/cures than adult stem cells
Derive pluripotent stem cell lines without creating
or harming embryos
July 29, 2005
The Honorable George W. Bush
The United States of America
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We, the undersigned, respectfully urge you to take advantage of
a unique opportunity to advance embryonic stem cell research without
creating or harming embryos by urging support and passage of H.R.
3144, the Respect for Life Pluripotent Stem Cell Act of
2005. Instead of dividing our nation over this issue, this
bill will bridge the gap between the ethical and scientific dilemmas
other stem cell legislation presents.
H.R. 3144 is based upon the recommendations of your Presidents
Council on Bioethics in its May 2005 White Paper: Alternative
Sources of Pluripotent Stem Cells. It was developed with
technical assistance from key members of your Administration.
In a May 23, 2005 letter, Dr. James A. Battey, the Director of
the Stem Cell Task Force for the National Institutes of Health
expressed enthusiasm for research in animals to explore alternative
techniques of deriving human embryonic stem-cell lines. This bill
was also crafted with intensive and extensive consultations with
other key pro-life supporters before it was introduced on June
30. It would authorize $15 million in Fiscal Year 2006 and such
sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2007 through
2010 and directs the NIH to conduct research on only animals
to develop alternative techniques to derive pluripotent stem cell
lines without creating or harming embryos. Scientists who testified
on July 12, 2005 before the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services
Appropriations Subcommittee and Members all supported federally
funded research into these alternative techniques of deriving
embryonic stem-cell lines.
We believe that it is ethically reprehensible to destroy a healthy
human embryo to provide raw fodder for scientific research. Mr.
President it is simply unacceptable that the only embryonic stem
cell bill on your desk be H.R. 810/S. 471. Our country and the
world need H.R. 3144, a positive pro-life embryonic stem cell
bill that will give Americans hope that medical applications of
embryonic stem cell-lines might provide the miracle cures and
treatments envisioned by many.
Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD-6)
Phil Gingrey (R-GA-1)
Tom Osborne (R-NE-3)
Bob Beauprez (R-CO-7)
John Abney Culberson (R-TX-7)
Chris Cannon (R-UT-3)
Gil Gutknecht (R-MN-1)
Charlie Norwood ((R-GA-9)
Tom Price (R-GA-6)
Nathan Deal (R-GA-10)
Michael T. McCaul (R-TX-10)
Jerry Weller (R-IL-11)
J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ-5)