What follows is a letter sent by the National Right to Life Committee (Federal Legislation Department) to members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, January 5, 2007, at 5 PM EST. To take immediate action on this issue, click here.
Dear Member of Congress:
The House is scheduled to vote on January 10 or 11 on H.R. 3, a bill that would mandate federal funding of research that requires the killing of human embryos. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) is strongly opposed to this legislation, and will include the roll call(s) on this legislation in our scorecard of key pro-life votes for the 110th Congress.
H.R. 3 is identical to H.R. 810 from the 109th Congress, which was vetoed by President Bush — a veto sustained by the House on July 19, 2006 (House roll call no. 388).
Each human being begins as a human embryo, male or female. The government should not fund research that requires the killing of living members of the species Homo sapiens. H.R. 3 would require federal funding of research projects using stem cells taken from human embryos who are alive today, and who would be killed by the very act of removing their stem cells for the research.
There are many types of stem cell research that are worthwhile and that do not raise ethical objections. Stem cells can be obtained without killing human embryos, from umbilical cord blood and from many types of “adult” (non-embryonic) tissue. Already, humans with at least 72 different diseases and conditions have received therapeutic benefit from treatment with such “adult” stem cells. In contrast, embryonic stem cells have not been tested in humans for any purpose because of the dangers demonstrated in animal studies, including frequent formation of tumors.
Those who favor federal funding of research that kills human embryos sometimes claim that these embryos “will be discarded anyway,” but this need not be so. Many human embryos have been adopted while they were still embryos, or simply donated by their biological parents to other infertile couples. Today they are children indistinguishable from any others.
Moreover, biotech researchers have made it clear that they will not be satisfied with the cell lines that might be created with donated human embryos produced by in vitro fertilization. They wish to use the somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) cloning technique, used to create Dolly the sheep and thousands of other mammalian clones, to create countless human embryos for the specific purpose of research. We urge you, during this new Congress, to support measures that would curb the creation of human embryos by cloning — a practice which, if allowed to proceed, will result in what President Bush has appropriately called “human embryo farms.”
For additional information, please contact the NRLC Federal Legislation Department at 202-626-8820 or Legfederal@aol.com. Additional resources are available at the NRLC Human Embryos webpage at www.nrlc.org/federal/killingembryos and athttp://www.stemcellresearch.org/
David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.
NRLC Executive Director
NRLC Legislative Director