Thursday morning, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk will hold a press conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Medicine Research Building to remind any softening conservative, prolife Republicans that he not only doesn't agree with their respect for life at embryonic stages, he wants to make taxpayer funding of embryo experimentation permanent.
Indeed, the Republicans' candidate for U.S. Senate emphasized his support for using embryos in his introductory "Independent" political ad by emphasizing he was one of the few Republicans that opposed President George W. Bush limited experimentation on cell lines to those already existing at the time. It must be that Kirk fears his call for making taxpayer funding permanent would be rejected by a radically pro-abort Democratic Congress and president.
A press release from the Kirk for U.S. Senate campaign states:
U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine researchers and patient advocacy organizations will highlight current advancements in stem cell research and discuss efforts to protect federal funding that has the potential to create new treatments and cures for debilitating injuries and chronic diseases.
Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to develop into nearly any cell in the human body, providing real hope for millions of Americans suffering from a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even spinal cord injuries. There are one million people in the U.S. with Parkinson’s, three million with Type 1 diabetes, and 200,000 with spinal cord injuries. Federal funding for pluripotent stem cell research is only allowed by presidential Executive Order and lacks congressional authorization, posing the risk that a future administration could halt critical advancements in medicine.
As a member of the Congressional Stem Cell Whip Team, Congressman Mark Kirk has played a key role in rallying support for pluripotent stem cell research. In 2001, President Bush allowed limited federal research for only 21 adult cell lines. The Executive Order prohibited the use of many pluripotent stem cells and authorized only pre-existing cell lines.
In 2005, legislation backed by Congressman Kirk (H.R. 810) passed the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, authorizing federal funding for expanded pluripotent stem cell research. President Bush vetoed the legislation. In 2007, similar legislation passed the House with no action in the Senate.
When President Obama took office in January 2009, he issued Executive Order 13505, entitled “Removing Barriers to Responsible Research Involving Human Stem Cells.” This Executive Order removed President Bush’s restrictions on federal funding and required the National Institutes of Health to issue guidelines on human stem cell research.
Congressman Kirk will highlight legislation permanently authorizing President Obama’s Executive Order, ensuring that future administrations cannot overturn federal support for pluripotent stem cell research.
Following the press conference, Congressman Kirk will tour a UIC stem cell research laboratory. Video/photography will be allowed for the tour. The event is sponsored by the UIC Medical Student Council.