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Act Now to Support Assemby Bill A-2840ówhich permits stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transplantation ("SCNT") to occur in New Jersey

The following is forwarded from the Parkinson Alliance. Please read and take action if you live in New Jersey and pass on to family members and friends in N.J.

We are at a critical moment in the fight to cure Parkinson's disease and numerous other chronic, degenerative and acute diseases. Vital legislation to advance medical research is currently pending in the New Jersey Legislature, and your elected representatives need to hear that you strongly urge them to vote for this important bill. We are writing to ask that you take a few moments out of your busy life to make your voice heard.

Assembly Bill A-2840 permits stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transplantation ("SCNT") to occur in New Jersey. As you know, these two areas of research hold tremendous promise for the cure of some of the world's deadliest diseases. Passage of A-2840 in this state will spark and support increases in research funding, in public and private sectors alike. This means a greater chance for us to attract and retain the best scientists; strengthen our job market; and above all, offer hope to the many New Jersey Citizens whose health, finances and general well being are sapped and often destroyed by these devastating diseases.

What A-2840 does: A-2840 provides that the public policy of New Jersey is to permit the conduct of research involving human embryonic, human embryonic germ and adult stem cells, including SCNT. This policy declaration is crucial to the thousands of New Jersey citizens suffering from diseases and conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Juvenile Diabetes, Alzheimer'sand spinal cord injuries.

A-2840 prohibits reproductive cloning, making it a crime of the first degree.

A- 2840 strengthens requirements for medical and ethical review of research projects, and provides for full review by an institutional review board, operating in accordance with federal regulations.

A-2840 provides a procedure by which donors may donate their embryos for research, and makes it a crime for any person to buy or sell embryonic or fetal tissue, echoing and expanding upon existing state and federal prohibitions.

Why must we Act Now ...

Because we are so close to victory. This legislation has already cleared the New Jersey Senate Health Committee, and has already passed the full New Jersey Senate. The bill was almost voted on in the Assembly, but was withdrawn.

Powerful organizations, such as New Jersey Right to Life, mounted a well-organized fax and letter campaign opposing the bill on religious grounds, rooted in their belief that couples should not be able to donate their excess embryos to research, rather than having them destroyed.

We are hopeful that a vote will occur in the Assembly on this important bill prior to the end of the current legislative session in early January 2004. To ensure the bill passes, we need the support of your Assembly members.

The time to take this enormous step in the area of medical research, a step that could touch the lives of thousands of families across our State, is right now. This bill could be voted on as early as December 11th.

Governor James E. McGreevey has already committed to signing this bill. The Senate has passed it. Parkinson's and other disease sufferers need this bill. The only piece left in this effort is for YOU TO CONTACT YOUR ASSEMBLY MEMBERS AND URGE THEM TO SUPPORT A-2840.

What can you do?

Write, Call, or Fax Your Assembly Members before December 9, 2003.

Locate the Name, address and fax number of your representative by call in the Office of Public Information, (800) 792-8630, or visiting www.njl

A sample letter of support is available by clicking here. You may also send a computer-generated letter of support by clicking on /letter.asp and completing that form.

E-mail your Assemby Members by December 9, 2003. Most members of the Assembly can be reached via email. Names and email links may be found at www.njleg.stat

We all know that the holiday season can be a busy time. Please spare just a few moments to help the millions of individuals in this nation and abroad suffering from potentially curable diseases, by making one simple call, or by sending one letter, fax, or email.

These diseases will not wait. Neither should the New Jersey Legislature.

Source Date: Dec 01 2003
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