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2006 Action of Immediate Witness

WHEREAS our Unitarian Universalist Principles call us to affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to promote justice, equity, and compassion and a free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

WHEREAS human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT or therapeutic cloning) show promise in finding cures for many physical and mental conditions, including but not limited to Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, burns, hemophilia, Parkinson's disease, spinal chord paralysis, and many others, that cause suffering and debilitation for millions of people;

WHEREAS embryonic stem cells, generated from donated embryos that are left over after infertility treatment, can become all cell types made by the human body and can proliferate indefinitely in culture;

WHEREAS SCNT is a technique in which the nucleus of a donated unfertilized egg is removed and replaced with the nucleus of a patient's cell, allowing the development of a genetically matched line of repair cells that can be accepted by a patient's body and the development of disease-specific lines of cells to enable scientists to study the development of the disease and investigate potential treatments and means of prevention;

WHEREAS adult stem cells do not have similar capabilities because they cannot differentiate into all cell types and cannot reproduce indefinitely;

WHEREAS federally funded research is restricted to twenty-one hESC lines that are woefully inadequate and contaminated; and

WHEREAS the U. S. Senate has delayed action on S. 471, the Senate version of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, passed by the House last year (H.R. 810), which will significantly loosen restrictions on cell lines.

THEREFORE be it resolved that the 2006 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association expresses its support for immediate action in Congress to complete passage of the Stem Cell Enhancement Act as long as it remains substantially in accordance with H.R. 810.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2006 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association call upon all member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to:

  • Support removing restrictions for federal funding for hESC and SCNT research;
  • Oppose restrictions to the advancement of stem cell science, as long as the rights of women donating eggs and couples donating embryos are appropriately protected and there is no intention of human reproductive cloning; and
  • Urge our elected representatives in Congress to pass the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.

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