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.