by Steven Ertelt
January 23, 2005
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, indicated at a pro-life rally on Saturday that he strongly opposes embryonic stem cell research – a stance that puts him at odds with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
"There are voices among us who are calling for the state to fund embryonic stem cell research. That’s a process that requires the destruction of human life," Perry said.
"As long as I am the governor of this great state, I will oppose any taxpayer dollars being used and spent on research that ends a human life," Perry said, according to an Associated Press report.
Perry made his remarks at a pro-life rally sponsored by more than a dozen pro-life organizations to build support for a parental consent on abortion proposal at the state legislature.
The consent law would step up notch current law that allows parents to be notified when their teenage daughters are considering an abortion.
Perry said that law helped reduce the number of abortions on teenagers by 26 percent.
"Five years ago, we passed a bill requiring parental consent for a child to get her ears pierced. I think it’s time that we applied that rationale and that same rational standard to abortions performed on minors," Perry said.
"These laws are important landmarks in an effort to create a culture of life and they’re giving our children the protection they deserve as living beings, created in he image of God," Perry said.
Sarah Wheat, spokeswoman for the Texas affiliate of NARAL said her group and other pro-abortion organizations would oppose the consent measure.
Hutchison and Perry clashed on the issue of stem cell research last month when Hutchison met with University of Texas regents and medical college presidents at a health conference that more needs to be done to promote the controversial research in Texas.
She said Texas should develop a stem cell research policy that prevents the Lone Star state from being "left in the dust by California, which approved a measure using $6 billion in taxpayer money to fund research that destroys human life.
The California ballot proposal, Proposition 71, will allow scientists to engage in human cloning for research – something Perry opposes.
"Cloning reduces a living unborn child to a lab experiment," he said at the rally.
President Bush put forward a stem cell research policy in August 2001 that prohibits using taxpayer funds to pay for new embryonic stem cell research, which pro-life groups oppose because it involves the destruction of human life.
Instead, Bush authorized more than $190 million on funding adult stem cells, which are more ethical and have already produced more than 120 treatments for diseases and ailments.
As Senator Hutchison considers where or not to challenge Perry in a primary in 2006, pro-life advocates are increasingly rallying around Perry as he takes strong stands against the controversial research and abortion.