HADASSAH APPLAUDS NY STATE LEGISLATURE FOR ALLOCATING FUNDING FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH
(NEW YORK -- April 2, 2007) -- Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, today hailed the New York State legislature for approving $100 million to fund stem-cell research and regenerative medicine in this budget year, with an expectation of a total of one billion dollars over the next 10 years.
Hadassah has been working to pass this type of legislation for four years as part of the New Yorkers for the Advancement of Medical Research coalition (NYAMR). The coalition is dedicated to ensuring that New York's medical research does not fall behind other states', such as New Jersey, which was one of the first states to allocate substantial funds for stem cell research.
"We applaud Gov. Spitzer and Lt. Gov. Paterson and the New York State Senate and Assembly for reaching consensus on a bold stem-cell funding initiative that will push New York into the forefront of this promising research," said June Walker, National President of Hadassah. "The 33,000 Hadassah members in New York, along with all New Yorkers, stand to benefit tremendously from this appropriation. Nationally, we are a large grassroots organization of 300,000 women and embryonic stem cell research is an issue that affects our grassroots like no other."
Walker added, "Unlike disease advocacy groups, our membership is not bound by one disease but instead is bound, like all people, by the hope of living long healthy lives. We all need the science to move forward now - this is a great step in the right direction."
In 2005, Hadassah launched its State of Stem Cell (SOS) initiative, a push to secure pro- stem-cell legislation in all 50 states, and today its grassroots force of 300,000 continues to work state by state toward this end. At the federal level, Hadassah is working to urge Congress and President Bush to overturn his 2001 executive order severely limiting federal funding for stem cell research.