Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ford Comes Out In Support Of Life While Corker, Hilleary, and Bryant Oppose Stem Cell Research

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate debated whether to approve the expansion of federal funds on stem cell research, which science shows could cure many of life's chronic and debilitating diseases.

With no delay, Congressman Ford strongly announced his support for the measure:

“This debate is mired in a left-right political struggle unfortunately. In reality, the axis is not left or right but is the future versus the past. Stem cell research is about progress and making the future healthier and safer. The expansion of research using stem cells could save lives through the development of new treatments for cancer, diabetes, sickle cell, Alzheimer's and spinal cord injuries. Too many in Washington, including President Bush regrettably, subordinate science for ideology. That is wrong. America has never hidden from a challenge or been afraid of the possibilities and potential of scientific advancement. We shouldn't start now.

“If I were a member of the United States Senate, I would vote as I have in the House, in favor of expanding federal spending on medical research using embryonic stem cells.”

Congressman Ford is not a Johnny Come Lately when it comes to stem cell research. While in Congress, he has been a steadfast supporter of this crucial science:
  • 5/24/2005 HR 810 Embryonic Stem Cell Research (Co-sponsor)

  • 5/24/2005 2520 HR 2520 Cord Blood Stem Cell Research

  • 12/17/2005 664 HR 2520 Cord Blood Stem Cell Research

This is exactly the kind of bold leadership leadership we need representing us in the United States Senate.

Bob Corker, Van Hilleary, and Ed Bryant all like to tout how pro-life they are. However, all three have came out against stem cell research and have said they would not have supported the bill in the Senate this week. So how can they say that they are pro-life? That just doesn't mesh for me.

This is a very personal issue for me. Both my mother and my sister have Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating disease which affects the central nervous system.

I want a cure to be found for my mother and sister. That is what any family member of someone who has a disease like MS hopes for. However, if folks like Corker, Hilleary, and Bryant, and our President had their way, that would not be possible. All hope would be lost.

The President and the Three Scientists in this U.S. Senate race, should all listen to folks like Michael J. Fox, Nancy Reagan, Orin Hatch and other well respected individuals, who all wholeheatdly support stem cell research:

  • "If the potential of stem cell research is realized, it would mean an end to the suffering of millions of people – a rescue, a cure...Stem cells could lead to breakthroughs in developing treatments and cures for almost any terminal or catastrophic disease you can think of. This is one of the reasons that support for this work has galvanized a coalition of advocates from just about every patient community in the nation. If stem cell research succeeds, there isn’t a person in the country who won’t benefit, or know somebody who will." -- Michael J. Fox

  • "Embryonic stem cells have specific properties that make them uniquely powerful and deserving of special attention in the realm of medical science. These special properties explain why scientists and physicians feel so strongly about support of embryonic as well as adult stem cell research. Unlike other stem cells, embryonic stem cells are "pluripotent." That means they have the capacity to become any type of tissue in the human body. Moreover, they are capable of renewing themselves and replicating themselves over and over again – indefinitely. Adult stem cells meet certain medical needs. But embryonic stem cells – because of these unique characteristics – meet other medical needs that simply cannot be met today by adult stem cells. They especially offer hope for treating a range of diseases that require tissue to regenerate or restore function." -- U.S. Senator Bill Frist (R-TN)

  • "As a right-to-life Senator, I believe that a critical part of a pro-life, pro-family philosophy is helping the living…The purpose of [stem cell] research is to save life, not terminate it." -- U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

  • "It is our responsibility to do everything possible to protect the quality of life of the present and future generations. A critical factor will be what we do with human embryonic stem cells. These cells have the potential to cure diseases and conditions ranging from Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis to diabetes and heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, even spinal-cord injuries like my own." -- Christopher Reeve

  • "As you may know, Ronnie will observe his ninety-second birthday soon. In earlier times, we would have been able to celebrate that day with great joy and wonderful memories of our life together. Now, while I can draw strength from these memories, I do it alone, as Ronnie struggles in a world unknown to me or the scientists who devote their lives to Alzheimer’s research. Because of this, I am determined to do what I can to save other families from this pain. I’m writing, therefore, to offer my support for stem cell research and to tell you I'm in favor of new legislation to allow the ethical use of therapeutic cloning. Like you, I support a complete ban on reproductive cloning. However, I believe that embryonic stem cell research, under appropriate guidelines, may provide our scientists with many answers that are now beyond our grasp." -- Nancy Reagan, Former First Lady

The science and public opinion is clearly on the side of stem cell research.

For Corker, Hilleary, and Bryant to come out against this science, just once again shows how they cannot be trusted on any issue of great importance.

Just as they did on global warming, the three are pandering to an extreme ideology that totally ignores scientific facts and rejects reasoning.

We simply cannot allow that type of person to represent us in the most powerful legislative body in the world.

Lets make sure we elect a U.S. Senator this fall that cherishes life, listens to scientific fact, and makes sound, non-ideological decisions that is for the betterment of all people in society.

Harold Ford Jr. does all of the above.

I support Harold Ford Jr. because he supports hope for my mother, my sister, and others around the country who are faced with chronic and debilitating diseases.

Thank you, Congressman.

198 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!