3 U.S. Senators have introduced legislation that would promote alternatives to embryonic stem cell research. Pro-life groups support such adult stem cell research, which is ethical and more effective than using cells obtained by killing human embryos. “Cord blood stem cell research holds great promise,” Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) said. The bill would fund development of an infrastructure for collecting cord blood stem cells and research using the cord stem cells. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ, 7/03) introduced similar legislation (HR 2852) that would establish a national umbilical cord blood bank. Dr. Pablo Rubenstein, director of the National Cord Blood Program at the New York Blood Center, said that cord blood banks have provided stem cells for more than 3,500 transplants worldwide and that umbilical cord and placenta stem cells result in less severe immune reaction and less risk of viral infection and are more easily accessible than other stem cell sources.
Related web sites: Rep. Smith’s bill – http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:h.r.2852: [http://www.lifenews.com/bio110.html; LifeNews.com, 25Oct03, #3102] [NOTE: one of our own APFLI members founded and directs Babies For Life Foundation, which is a cord blood bank www.babiesforlife.org]
Illinois passed such a bill in 1/04 and is successfully collecting umbilical cord blood for treatments and research.