by Maria Vitale Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 27, 2004
LifeNews.com Note: This is the 22nd in a series of articles covering the 2004 elections state by state from the pro-life viewpoint.
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — While political analysts have determined that California, a state rich in electoral votes, is solidly in the "Kerry column," pro-life voters are still likely to have an impact in the West Coast state.
The state is the site of a bitter campaign launched by the biotech industry and Hollywood moguls, who are trying to persuade voters to approve funding for destructive embryonic stem cell research.
"Proposition 71 is a financial and moral train wreck for the state of California," said Wendy Wright, senior policy director for Concerned Women for America, a pro-life group that opposes scientific experiments which involve the killing of human embryos.
Likewise, California resident and bioethics expert Wesley Smith has denounced the proposal on both ethical and financial grounds.
Smith, also an attorney, says, "Now would seem to be exactly the wrong time for California to borrow a total of $3 billion ($6 billion including interest) to pay biotechnology companies and rich university research institutes to conduct research into human cloning and embryonic stem cells.
"And yet, this is precisely the snake oil being peddled by supporters of Proposition 71," Smith explained. "No wonder legendary Sacramento Bee political columnist Peter Schrag — a supporter of embryonic stem cell research — has scathingly denigrated the measure as an ‘audacious raid on the treasury.’"
The proposal is backed by Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger, along with Hollywood executives, venture capitalists, and a number of groups promoting disease research. Recent polls indicate the plan might pass — despite opposition from some public officials, who see it as a billion dollar boondoggle.
“The state’s borrowing is already completely out of control," state Sen. Tom McClintock (R) told the Los Angeles Times. "This measure makes our future problems substantially worse. It might be highly commendable, but it is wildly irresponsible."
Meanwhile, in a closely-watched Congressional race, an ad war is being waged by pro-life Republican Dan Lungren and pro-abortion Democrat Gabe Castillo.
Lungren, the former Attorney General, has started running radio and television ads portraying him as the “unity candidate" who can be an influential voice in the 53-member House delegation.
Meanwhile, Castillo is firing back at Lungren for his pro-life stand. Castillo goes so far as to call Lungren a political extremist. Lungren had a pro-life record during his previous Congressional service.
In California’s U.S. Senate race, pro-life Republican Bill Jones is challenging incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer, who is known as one of the most vocal supporters of legal abortion in the Senate. Boxer has a zero percent pro-life voting record.
Boxer is endorsed by every leading pro-abortion group in the nation, including the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL, NOW, and Emily’s List.
In contrast, Jones states on his campaign website, "Recognizing that there are people of good will on both sides of this difficult issue, my view could best be characterized as predominantly pro-life except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is endangered. In addition, I oppose partial birth abortions and support parental notification when an abortion is being considered by anyone under 18 years old."
Jones attacks Boxer for voting against Bush’s pro-life judicial nominees.
“It is my contention that Senator Boxer has inappropriately applied a litmus test regarding this issue to judicial appointments," Jones says. "I find it most unfortunate that Senator Barbara Boxer finds it necessary to polarize this very personal decision for political gain."
Boxer is expected to win the race.