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Hadassah Calls on Senate to Pass Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; Urges President Bush to Reconsider Promise to Veto

Ricky Cheung

HADASSAH CALLS ON SENATE TO PASS STEM CELL RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT ACT; URGES PRESIDENT BUSH TO RECONSIDER PROMISE TO VETO

(New York, NY -- July 14, 2006) -- Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, strongly urges the Senate to pass legislation next week that would lift the Bush administration’s restrictions on the use of federal funds for stem cell research.

At the same time, Hadassah is deeply disappointed and disturbed by the White House’s vow to exercise the President’s veto power for the first time on this critical legislation.

In a statement today, June Walker, National President of Hadassah, appealed directly to Senator Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader, who visited Hadassah Medical Center in May 2005, to do all he can to ensure Senate passage.

“The 300,000 women of Hadassah and all Americans who are affected by chronic, debilitating disease, or have loved ones who suffer, are watching closely as our political leaders are on the cusp of reversing years of onerous restrictions on federal funding for critical research.

“Sen. Frist, after you toured the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem and were briefed on its latest stem cell developments, which you called ‘pioneering and very promising,’ we were hopeful that HR 810 would pass the Senate. We know that you, as a doctor, do not wish to see suffering and we thank you for all you’ve done so far in this regard. We appeal to you in the strongest of terms to obtain a positive vote in the Senate.

“With as many as 75 percent of Americans in favor of pursuing cures to chronic disease through embryonic stem cell research, America is counting on you.

“This bill would allow federal funding for research on a dramatically increased number of stem cells lines, thereby exponentially increasing the potential of finding cures and treatment for 100 million Americans suffering from diseases such as juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and spinal cord injuries.

“By passing this legislation, the Senate will definitively demonstrate that stem cell research is not an issue that divides Americans by political party or faith. This bill would affirm the sanctity of both human life and the spirit of free inquiry-two tenets of America’s spiritual and political life behind which the vast majority of Americans proudly stand.

“It is immoral for our families, neighbors and friends to suffer while Washington politics hold hostage treatments within our scientific grasp. A presidential veto would not reflect the American people’s political will.”

Date: 7/14/2006 12:00:00 AM

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