Striking a Cord

Who didn't show up at a House of Delegates committee meeting? Source: Courtesy of Date published: 3/3/2010

DEL. BOB MARSHALL, R-Manassas, is known for his often strident pro-life positions, but the witnesses he brought to a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Education and Health left legislators more misty-eyed than mystified.

At issue was Mr. Marshall's bill promoting education on the healing potential of umbilical-cord blood. To illustrate, he invited the Davis family from Texas to testify, notes Scott Leake of the Thomas Jefferson Institute.

Mr. Davis explained that his older son was born with sickle cell anemia, a devastating disease that may be ameliorated by cord blood. The Davises were unable to find a match--until they were blessed with a second son, whose umbilical-cord blood provided just the cells needed to help his big brother.

The testimony of the family--including the two little boys--moved even jaded lawmakers. "The only superfluous moment," reports Mr. Leake, "was when Chairman [Edd] Houck, who by Senate procedure had to pose the question, asked if anyone wanted to speak in opposition to the bill. Since Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, and Satan were absent, no one spoke."

The bill passed 15-0.