New Jersey Gov. Wants Funding for Destructive Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Gov. Wants Funding for Destructive Embryonic Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 23, 2004

Trenton, NJ ( — New Jersey will become the first state in the nation to use taxpayer funds to pay for embryonic stem cell research that involves the cloning and killing of tiny unborn human beings to obtain their stem cells. Governor Jim McGreevey is expected to announce a proposal to do that in a budget address on Tuesday.

According to the New York Times, McGreevey will announce that $6.5 million will go to fund an embryonic stem cell research institute that will be jointly run by Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The funding will be the first of many state grants as McGreevey wants to spend as much as $50 million backing the destructive research. The money come from a combination from of state and federal funds.

Dr. Wise Young, of Rutgers University, told the Times he hoped to use $25 million to recruit some of the best embryonic stem cell scientists from around the world.

Last month, McGreevey signed legislation that made New Jersey only the second state, along with California, to allow scientists to clone human embryos for destruction.

The same process, somatic cell nuclear transplantation, used to create Dolly the
Sheep and used by South Korean scientists earlier this month to supposedly extract stem cells from a human embryo, is expressly authorized under the New Jersey bill.

Some 277 failed attempts occurred before scientists successfully cloned Dolly, who died from abnormalities. Pro-life advocates worry hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny unborn humans will die as a result of the research.

According to Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life, "The day after news reports revealed that South Korean scientists had created human embryos through this technique, McGreevey sent a letter to his Health and Senior Services Commissioner, asking him to
promote this research."

Tasy’s group is encouraging pro-life residents of New Jersey to contact their state senators and assembly member to urge strong opposition to funding embryonic stem cell research.

She is asking pro-life advocates to encourage their elected officials to fund adult stem cell research instead.

Meanwhile, backers of an initiative in California hope to get their proposal on the ballot that would call for $3 billion in embryonic stem cell research funding over the next 10 years.

In August 2001, President Bush announced a policy that would prohibit the federal funding of any new embryonic stem cell research. Because so few stem cell lines were available at the time, many of which were later determined unusable, scientists say Bush’s decision effectively shut off virtually all funding for the controversial research.

The new institute will be based in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

ACTION: Go to to find your legislators and contact them with your views.

Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life –
McGreevey’s Letter –