The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – welcomed this morning’s address to the U.S. Senate by Majority Leader Bill Frist expressing his support for expanding federal funding for embryonic (and other forms) of stem cell research.
The Senator reiterated principles he set forth to govern such research funding questions in 2001 and announced that, consistent with those principles, he will support a modified version of the bipartisan Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which passed the U.S. House in May, 2005.
The principles set forth by Senator Frist are consistent with the principles held by Orthodox Jewish teaching and avocated by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations to members of Congress and the Administration.
and more generally
These principles include the need for establishing “a fully funded and empowered oversight body comprised of scientists and bio-ethicists, and periodic reviews by relevant Executive branch agencies and congressional committees.”
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union (who has met and discussed this matter with Senator Frist) stated:
“The Orthodox Jewish community welcomes and appreciates the important and thoughtful statement made by Senator Frist on the Senate floor this morning. Senator Frist’s standing in the medical and political communities will certainly advance the debate over the critical issue of stem cell reserach funding in a substantial and thoughtful way to the benefit of all Americans.”