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Senators Gather on Capitol Hill to Urge Passage of Pro-Stem Cell Legislation; Patient groups plan to lobby undecided Senators during July 4th Recess


WASHINGTON, June 29 -- Today, champions of medical research will gather on Capitol Hill for a press conference urging the Senate to pass favorable stem cell legislation designed to expand the current federal policy. Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Ted Kennedy (D- MA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will ask their Senate colleagues to vote in favor of the bill, which passed the House earlier this month. H.R. 810 is the first bill to be voted on to expand the stem cell policy since it was announced by President Bush on August 9, 2001. The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research representing over 90 patient groups, universities and scientific societies strongly supports the legislation.

“While Senators are home for the July 4th holiday, we urge patients and their families to meet with them, attend rallies and parades where Senators are present, and encourage these elected officials to vote pro-cures and vote for H.R. 810,” said Daniel Perry, President of CAMR. “We believe strongly in the power of patient advocacy and hope that when Senators meet people firsthand who could be helped by stem cell research, they will vote for patients and give the research a chance to really flourish in the U.S.”, he added.

A Senate press conference will take place today at 10:30 a.m. EST in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, U.S. Capitol. Patient advocate Robert Klein II will be speaking on behalf of patients who could benefit from embryonic stem cell research. Klein was spinal cord injured in a diving accident five years ago, which left him paralyzed.

“Stem cell research provides patients with hope for a better life,” said Klein. “And while no one is expecting a cure overnight, if we don’t move the research forward and free up our scientists to do what they do best, we’ll be waiting forever,” he added.

The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR)- the leading pro-cures coalition-is comprised of nationally- recognized patient organizations, universities, scientific societies, foundations, and individuals with life-threatening illnesses and disorders, advocating for the advancement of breakthrough research and technologies in regenerative medicine, including stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer, in order to cure disease and alleviate suffering. For more information on CAMR, visit the website:


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