A Rose and a Prayer Defeats Delaware Stem Cell Legislation in US Rep. Mike Castle's Home State
Contact: Ellen Barrosse, 302-489-9096
DOVER, Del., July 2 /Christian Newswire/ -- In an 11th-hour vote Saturday night, Delaware's General Assembly overwhelmingly defeated Senate Bill 5, which would have authorized the use of human embryos in medical experimentation. Despite intense lobbying by aides to Congressman Mike Castle, whose stem cell bill in the US Congress is similar to SB 5, the bill was defeated by a margin of 4 to 1.
Ellen Barrosse, a founder of the interfaith grassroots group, A Rose and a Prayer said that SB 5 was defeated because state representatives heard from tens of thousands of Delawareans who are against embryo-destructive research.
"The 4-to-1 defeat of SB 5 proves that, despite the polls, when Americans realize that embryonic stem cell research requires killing human embryos, they are overwhelmingly against it," Barrosse said.
"We are proud that our General Assembly recognized the scientific reality that embryonic stem cell research is no longer necessary."
The 30-to-7 vote took place at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, in the last hours before Delaware's General Assembly closed for the year. More than 50 members of A Rose and a Prayer assembled at Legislative Hall to support and thank legislators who voted against the bill.
Dr. Mary McCrossan, a physician and member of A Rose and a Prayer, said scientific advancement has overtaken SB 5.
"The exciting news this month that skin cells have been reprogrammed to their embryonic state, without the need for human cloning or embryo destruction, makes Senate Bill 5 simply unnecessary," Dr. McCrossan said.
Stephen E. Jenkins, Esq., a founder and President of A Rose and a Prayer said that he is hopeful that the strong bi-partisan rejection of SB 5 means that Delawareans will not have to face this bill again.
"After seven hearings on human embryonic stem cell research, our representatives weighed the issue carefully, listened to their constituents, and voted their consciences," he said. "People want cures—but not at the price that embryonic stem cell research requires."
To defeat SB 5, A Rose and a Prayer has led regular prayer vigils since January, mobilized tens of thousands of Delawareans to call their legislators, and delivered more than 4,000 roses to Legislative Hall, each labeled with the name of a single constituent who opposed the bill. One of the hallmarks of A Rose and a Prayer is the strong working relationships developed between Catholic and Evangelical Christians to defeat the bill.
This is the second time A Rose and a Prayer has defeated legislation that would have legalized human embryonic stem cell research in Delaware. In 2006, A Rose and a Prayer orchestrated an 8-day, 2,400-person prayer vigil, the delivery of 2,500 roses from constituents, and as many as 25,000 constituent phone calls to legislators. As a result of those efforts, SB 80 was stripped of all mention of human embryos.
A Rose and a Prayer has established a sister corporation, A Rose and a Prayer Education Group, Inc. As a lobbying organization, A Rose and a Prayer cannot accept tax-deductible donations. The Education Group will able to accept tax-deductible contributions to run media campaigns and conferences to inform voters about embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, as well as other issues related to the dignity of the human person.
A Rose and a Prayer expects to announce the hiring of an Executive Director and other staff this summer, and will be taking office space in Wilmington.