Lankford, Inhofe introduce legislation to save human embryos

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WASHINGTON, DC – Oklahoma Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), along with Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-SD), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced the Patients First Act, which would promote stem cell research without the creation, use, destruction, or discarding of human embryos.

“Human life is sacred at every stage, regardless of a person’s size or degree of dependency,” Lankford said. “I am grateful for the continued work of Senator Wicker on the Patients First Act, which promotes stem cell research without the creation, use, destruction, or discarding of human embryos. Adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (ipS) cells have shown great therapeutic promise. Let’s put patients first and devote time and resources to treatments that work.”

“Protecting the rights of the unborn is nonnegotiable,” Inhofe said. “I am proud to be a cosponsor of the Patients First Act, legislation that will promote stem cell research without destroying babies in the process—it’s common sense, it promotes advancements for our future, but most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.”

“We do not have to choose between promoting stem cell research and respecting life,” Wicker said. “The Patients First Act would encourage the use of adult stem cells for medical purposes. All Americans can support this ethical and effective alternative to embryonic stem cell research.”

The Patients First Act would:

  • Promote the creation of pluripotent stem cell lines without the creation of human embryos, or the destruction or discarding of, or risk of injury, to human embryos;
  • Intensify stem cell research that may result in an improved understanding of, or treatments for, diseases and other adverse health conditions;
  • Promote research and human clinical trials using stem cells that are ethically obtained and show evidence of providing clinical benefit for human patients;
  • Direct the National Institutes of Health to prioritize stem cell research that has the greatest potential for near-term clinical benefits given currently available evidence;
  • Reverse President Obama’s Executive Order 13505, which gave the Department of Health and Human services the authority to use embryonic stem cells in research; and,
  • Codify the Dickey-Wicker Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research.

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