Tuesday, December 20, 2005

An ASCR Victory!

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) has a good reason to be happy today. The ASCR bill he's promoted since 2001 passed both houses of Congress, and today President Bush signed it into law!

CNS has the STORY: Pro-life official hails signing of bill on stem cells from cord blood
An official of the U.S. bishops' pro-life secretariat hailed the Dec. 20 enactment of legislation establishing a national program to promote the use of stem cells from umbilical-cord blood.

Richard M. Doerflinger, deputy director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, said the signing of the Stem-Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 by President George W. Bush "is wonderful news for the many thousands of suffering patients who can benefit from umbilical-cord-blood stem-cell treatments."

The House had approved the legislation in May by a 431-1 vote. The Senate passed it by unanimous consent Dec. 16 with one amendment; the House concurred with the amendment by voice vote Dec. 17.

"As Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, how appropriate that we can also celebrate the medical miracles made possible by cord blood retrieved immediately after live births," Doerflinger said. "Congress and the president have given a wonderful Christmas present to patients in need."

Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, had backed passage of the legislation in a July letter to senators, saying that stem cells obtained from cord blood had properties similar to embryonic stem cells.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chief sponsor of the legislation in the House, said after the signing that he had been working on the legislation since 2001, "and I am thankful that treatments will now, finally, be made available to patients in need."

"We will now be able to turn medical waste -- umbilical cords and placentas -- into medical miracles for huge numbers of very sick and terminally ill patients who suffer from such maladies as leukemia and sickle cell anemia," he said in an earlier statement.

The legislation authorizes $265 million in federal funding for research and therapy involving cord blood and bone marrow. Of that total, $79 million would go toward the collection of cord-blood stem cells, with the goal of reaching a genetically diverse inventory of 150,000 units.

It also reauthorizes the national bone-marrow transplant system at $186 million over the next five years and combines the cord-blood and bone-marrow programs to provide a single information source for doctors and patients.
This is a great victory for Fools, the chronically ill and the unborn. The Federal government will now finance the same research that venture capitalists have backed for some time. Umbilical cords will now provide core blood for the development of morally licit stem-cell lines. More treatments for difficult diseases may soon become available.

Be kind to our Reasonable, Moloch-worshipping brothers today. They must be terribly disappointed. The State failed to support the New Sacrifice to the God of the One Thing that Matters. That can't be an easy thing to accept. Now all those frozen embryos will not add Ka-Ching! to promoters of Absolute Individualism. That's gotta hurt.

Be easy. Try not to laugh too loud!