June 16, 2014

Federal legislation was enacted in response to the growing needs of umbilical cord blood uses and banking. The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 20051 was enacted into law by the federal government, and amended by the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010.

The 2005 legislation was introduced in the House in May 2005 and signed into law by the president in December 2005. The purpose of the bill is “to provide for the collection and maintenance of human cord blood stem cells for the treatment of patients and research…”

The bill also fortified the need for providing accurate information to pregnant women in order for them to make an informed decision on cord blood banking, whether it be saving it privately, donating to a public bank, or to not store it at all.

The bill was introduced by lawmakers in the 109th Congress in response to concerns from constituents across the United States seeking to have a more informed public on cord blood donation and the use of stem cells in the treatment of many diseases.

Also addressed in section 2 of the bill: “Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to contract with qualified cord blood stem cell banks to assist in the collection and maintenance of 150,000 new units of high-quality cord blood to be made available for transplantation through the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.”

The C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program is the former National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. The bill was amended in 20102 to revise provisions related to the National Cord Blood Inventory.

Tens of thousands of Americans are diagnosed each year with diseases that are treatable with cord blood stem cells. Many state governments have recognized the need for more cord blood education among its citizens and have taken steps to help them make informed decisions. Today, close to half of all states in the United States have passed legislation in support of cord blood banking, donation, and research.

States currently with supportive cord blood legislation on the books are:
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Connecticut
Georgia
Florida
Illinois
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Michigan
Missouri
New York
New Jersey
North Carolina
North Dakota

1. H.R. 2520--109th Congress: Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005.” www.GovTrack.us. 2005. Retrieved from: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/109/hr2520

2. “S. 3751--111th Congress: Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010.” www.GovTrack.us. 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/s3751

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