New Jersey Governor Launches Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Governor Launches Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
May 13, 2004

Trenton, NJ ( — In a highly controversial move, Governor Jim McGreevey of New Jersey has signed an agreement creating a taxpayer-funded stem cell research center that promises to engage in experiments involving the killing of human embryos.

"It is highly irregular to commit to public funding for a project before it has even been approved by the legislature," said Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life.

"This is part of the ongoing campaign by this administration to keep the taxpayers in the dark about their intent to clone and kill human beings in our state while picking their pockets to do it," Tasy added.

The Stem Cell Institute will be run by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University.

Governor McGreevey, an ardent supporter of abortion and the biotech industry, said, "Our state is the natural place for this to blossom."

"We have the unique combination of pharmaceutical infrastructure, biomedical research, university expertise and political will necessary to advance stem cell research to the benefit of patients and families throughout the world," McGreevey explained.

But according to a recent Quinnipiac poll, a plurality of New Jersey voters oppose the use of tax dollars to fund the institute.

As a result, the proposed institute "just shows the arrogance and disregard for the democratic process exhibited by this Governor and his party leaders," Tasy said.

"By forcing taxpayers to fund these cloning laboratories, Governor McGreevey can no longer say these are his personal beliefs; he is now taking his personal beliefs and making them public policy," Tasy added.

Pro-life demonstrators appeared outside the media event to protest the building of the stem cell center.

While promoters of embryonic stem cell research claim it could cure everything from Parkinson’s disease to diabetes, initial trials have proven disastrous.

Adult stem cell research, which does not involve the taking of innocent human life, has proven to be far more promising.

McGreevey has earmarked $6.5 million for the stem cell center in the state budget. However, the budget must still win approval from the state legislature. The deadline for the legislative body to pass the budget is the end of June.

Pro-life leaders note that embryonic stem cell research, like abortion, can lead to the exploitation of women.

For instance, South Korean scientists super-ovulated 16 women to obtain 242 eggs, which ultimately resulted in only one stem cell line.

Tasy suggests that such human experiments are unethical and dangerous.

"While this may or may not be acceptable for animals, it certainly should not be acceptable for human children," Tasy said. "There is no reason to exploit women and create human life to destroy it when adult and cord blood stem cells are accessible and are being successfully used to treat human patients."

Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life –