Supporters of sound science education and stem cell research had a big presence at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. More than 200 activists registered for Texas Freedom Network ‘s Lobby Day, which included training sessions on supporting stem cell research, responsible sexuality education and sound science education in public schools. Nearly two dozen teams of activists then marched to the Capitol for appointments with lawmakers and staff from around the state.
TFN’s field team is very grateful that so many supporters took the time to stand up for science in Texas. (Click here to find out more about our Stand Up for Science campaign.) This kind of direct contact between constituents and elected officials is critical to TFN’s efforts to promote sound science.
Thursday might offer an early test of the success of yesterday’s lobbying. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold the Legislature’s first hearing on a stem cell bill this session. Senate Bill 73 from state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, provides for the creation of an adult stem cell research program. The legislation does not specifically address embryonic stem cell research, which scientists say holds the most promise for finding treatments for serious medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and cancer. TFN is appreciative of Sen. Nelson’s efforts to promote this important medical research.
On the other hand, as originally filed, the legislation would restrict facilities built with funds from the program to research involving only adult stem cells. TFN activists joined with those from Texans for the Adancement of Medical Research to ask Sen. Nelson to remove that provision from the bill. Keep an eye on TFN Insider for more news on Sen. Nelson’s bill.
3 thoughts on “TFN Lobby Day Boosts Science at the Capitol”
In Dallas, there is a young woman who was left severely brain damaged in an accident in which she was hit by a drunk driver. The family of this former A student from Texas A&M is raising $50,000 to take her to China for stem-cell treatment that might POSSIBLY help her speak again. I find that far-right Christians rebuke stem-cell research until it is “their daughter” who might walk again, or their child who is crippled by diabetes.
I was there lobbying for stem cell research (I’m a research scientist myself) and it was both a fun and enlightening day. I hope TFN’s efforts will create better dialog with policymakers and help keep Texas as a top research destination.
Well, all I know this. From where I sit right now, if I existed as only as a few divided cells in a frozen container, had no human consciousness, and had no free will of my own, I would feel great love and privilige in giving up my stem cells to someone like my dad and his sister, whose lives were ravaged (and one dead at age 32) from Type I diabetes. This act of love is understood in the following:
The Greatest Commandment: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matthew 22: 37 and 39).
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
A clump of cells cannot make that decision for themselves, but it still does not absolve them of the responsibility set forth in the two verses above, and it does not absolve us from that responsibility when we are in a position to make that choice for them.
Of course, fundies would not agree with that. This not surprising because most of the fundies I know lock the word “love” into a dark closet so they will never have to see it, face it, or give it. As an aquaintance of mine has defined it: “Christian fundamentalism is a form of religion from which the love has been drained.”