Dems Kill GOP Effort to Undermine Key Disease Research

(Feb. 15) – Democrats on the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee killed a bill today that would have barred Colorado’s public colleges and universities from “purchase or trafficking” of fetal tissues, which have been used in medical research for 80 years.

Witnesses testifying against HB17-1099 noted that fetal tissues are voluntarily donated, not sold; that these donations are highly regulated; and that scientific research involving such tissues has given us vaccines for chickenpox, measles and polio and is considered vital to research to cure Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and other scourges.

“I can’t support a bill that undermines efforts to find a cure for Zika virus, which is causing a world health crisis,” said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, who recounted how her pregnant stepdaughter is unable to travel to visit family in Florida because of the Zika threat there. Rep. Lontine commended the fetal tissue research that is offering hope for a breakthrough.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tim Leonard, R-Evergreen, died on a 6-3 party-line vote.

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