It has been announced that the highly anticipated debate and vote in the Senate on HR 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, will take place on July 17th and 18th (next Monday and Tuesday). This is great news, but there’s a catch.
Although supporters of the bill (i.e. 70% of Americans) have already been troubled by Bush’s continued stubborn insistence on vetoing the bill when it reaches his desk, there are now worries that HR 810 may not have the 60 votes it needs to pass, as Michael Stebbins reports at Sex Drugs & DNA. He’s urging his readers to call their Senators’ offices to express their support for HR 810, and he’s also asking everyone to contact the following senators, who are particularly on the fence right now: Robert Byrd (D-WV), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Christopher Bond (R-MO), and Pete Domenici (R-NM). Contact information for Senators is available here.
It’s time to act, people! This will just take a couple of minutes, and it could make a huge difference. I know that there has been quite a bit of reporting here and elsewhere lately on HR 810 and its upcoming vote on it in the Senate, but there’s good reason for all of this–stem cell research in the US is suffering under the current unscientific restrictions. The ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research needs to end right now by the passage of HR 810. It has made impressive progress considering its small but vocal opposition, but it still has a few hurdles left to scale.