"RESOLVE strongly supports expanding our current federal policy on the use of embryonic stem cells," said Joseph C. Isaacs, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer, RESOLVE. "Embryonic stem cells hold tremendous promise and could provide the missing link to cure some of the world's most deadly diseases, including cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, ALS and spinal cord injury. Therefore, as many as 100 million Americans could benefit from this research."
Infertile couples that successfully undergo medical treatment, such as in vitro fertilization, often produce excess embryos that are frozen and never used in their attempts to have a baby. According to RESOLVE, these couples are in a unique position to donate their excess embryos to scientific research and contribute to the advancement of more effective treatments and even cures to end the suffering of millions of Americans with life threatening and debilitating diseases.
"I am the proud mother of a four year old son, Anthony, via adoption, after several failed attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF). My husband and I, and the thousands of RESOLVE members across the country, care deeply about the choices infertile men and women have when they have excess embryos. I was one of those people," said Barb Collura, RESOLVE's Director of Chapter and Constituent Services, speaking at a press conference held today to support the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. "Had we had the option available to us when we completed our treatment, we would have gladly donated our embryos to scientific research. Being able to choose how our frozen embryos were used, we would have felt blessed to have donated them to help advance science and potentially save millions of lives."
It is estimated that, currently, there are nearly 400,000 cryopreserved (frozen) embryos in storage in the United States as a result of infertility treatment. While the majority of infertile patients expect to use their embryos for further family building pursuits, many cryopreserved embryos will be discarded if not donated, either to infertile individuals to help them have a baby or to research to save lives.