Mel Gibson Opposes California Embryonic Stem Cell Research Measure

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 28, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mel Gibson Opposes California Embryonic Stem Cell Research Measure Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 28, 2004

Sacramento, CA ( — Actor and producer Mel Gibson launched the battle of the Hollywood stars on Thursday as he took issue with an endorsement actor and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave to a controversial billion-dollar measure in California that would fund research involving the destruction of human life.

Gibson told ABC’s "Good Morning America” that he has an "ethical problem” with the research and called the "Terminator" actor to discuss it.

The "Passion of the Christ" producer said he initially was supportive of the proposal until he found out that it would fund cloning and killing of human embryos.

"I’m very concerned with the stem cell question. I’m for stem cell research. I think it can do a lot of good. When I heard about a Proposition 71 to promote stem cell research I was overjoyed because it can do so much good," Gibson said.

"I found that the cloning of human embryos will be used in the process and that, for me, I have an ethical problem with that,” Gibson told ABC. "Why do I, as a taxpayer, have to fund something I believe is unethical?”

"Adult stem cell research, I’m all for it. I’ll give my own stem cells to somebody if they want. But I can’t condone this," Gibson, who has starred in movies such as "Braveheart" and the "Lethal Weapon" series, explained.

Gibson said he talked to Schwarzenegger, and the two discussed the issue for a few minutes before Schwarzenegger had to get off the phone for a planned speech.

"I did talk to him for several minutes and explained to him what my position was on” Proposition 71, Schwarzenegger confirmed to the Associated Press.

Gibson was hoping to spend more time talking to the governor about the $6 billion measure that would use taxpayer funds to sponsor unproven embryonic stem cell research. He said in the ABC interview he was waiting for Schwarzenegger to call him back. Schwarzenegger says he left a message for Gibson and is waiting for it to be returned.

Both men are Catholics and the Catholic Church strongly opposes Proposition 71.

Gibson’s comments drew him praise from pro-life groups.

"I agree with Mel Gibson’s belief that destroying days-old human embryos on research which has virtually no hope of success is immoral," Roberta Combs, head of the Christian Coalition, said in response.

Earlier this week, popular actor Brad Pitt endorsed the California measure. Michael J. Fox has been taping commercials both for Proposition 71 and the John Kerry campaign.