(New York, NY -- July 29, 2005) -- Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, applauds Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) for his strong support of embryonic stem cell research. In a dramatic speech on the Senate floor this morning, Senator Frist said, “while human embryonic stem cell research is still at a very early stage, the limitations put in place in 2001 will, over time, slow our ability to bring potential new treatments for certain diseases. Therefore, I believe the president’s policy should be modified.”
In reaction to the Majority Leader’s surprise announcement to expand research and funding for embryonic stem cell science limited by the Administration’s August 9, 2001 executive order, June Walker, National President of Hadassah said: “Senator Frist’s courageous stance will bring us closer to harnessing the tremendous potential of stem cells to save lives and alleviate suffering.
“We hope this means that he will throw his full support behind HR 810, the stem cell funding and research bill passed by the House of Representatives in May. The first step is to schedule the Senate vote and we encourage him to do so immediately following the Senate recess.
“We at Hadassah knew that the Senator, a compassionate physician, supported embryonic stem cell research from the very positive remarks he made while touring the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem in May. At that time, he called the work ‘pioneering and very promising.’ We are gratified that he has gone on public record in his support of embryonic stem cell science. We look forward to a swift, positive vote in its favor. Once the Senate passes HR810, we strongly urge President Bush to sign the bill into law.”
Hadassah, the largest women’s organization in the U.S., has taken a strong stand in favor of embryonic stem cell research and funding. This past spring, in the largest advocacy effort of the organization’s 92 years, Hadassah delegations visited 50 state capitals to urge their legislators to pass favorable legislation. And, just last week, some 1,800 Hadassah members from 37 states visited their Congressional representatives in Washington, DC, holding more than 150 meetings to encourage favorable stem cell legislation, among other issues of concern.