Remarks by Andrew Kimbrell

Remarks by Andrew Kimbrell

Inside the Beltway

There are four ways you can actually accomplish things by working on these issues "inside the Beltway".

1. You can actually Win

Sometimes it takes a while. We drafted the first version of the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act for Rep. John Conyers in 1996. It finally passed in 2008.

Fetal Tissue was added to the Organ Transplant Act.

Human Embryo patents have been prohibited by riders on the Department of Commerce Appropriations Bill when both Democrats and Republicans have controlled Congress.

2. Just introducing a bill raises the profile of an issue

A bill to ban surrogate motherhood did not pass but got the country and the in vitro fertilization industry to consider how to handle this new form of motherhood and 15 states banned the practice.

3. You can raise public interest and get the public involved

Hearings on many of these issues from cloning to stem cells to pre-implantation diagnosis got the public more involved in the issues as they saw the hearings on CSPAN or clips from them on the evening news. The public was encouraged to write letters on these and other issues.

4. You can get important Regulatory changes EVEN without new Law

The Obama Administration NIH guidelines for embryonic stem cell research drew the line at cloned embryos. Many of us had supported research on embryonic stem cells, but opposed using cloned embryos that would have required eggs from many hundreds of women and could have led to the possibility of cloned embryos being accidently or intentionally implanted.