Connecticut Lawmakers Weigh Bill to Spend $20M on Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 1, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Connecticut Lawmakers Weigh Bill to Spend $20M on Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 1, 2005

Hartford, CT ( — Spending money on stem cell research is a great idea, pro-life advocates in Connecticut say. But, they’re opposing a bill to use $20 million on the controversial research because some of the money will fund studies that involve the destruction of human life.

The Senate Public Health Committee held a hearing Monday on Senate Bill 934, a measure that would use taxpayer funds for such research and set guidelines on who can obtain the money.

David Reynolds, the legislative liaison for the Connecticut Catholic Conference, attended the debate and spoke for the pro-life community when he said the bill should be opposed because it would use taxpayers’ money to fund destroying human embryos.

"Embryonic stem cell research destroys a human life, and we would oppose that," Reynolds said, according to an article in the Record-Journal newspaper.

Reynolds also faulted the bill for spending money irresponsibly and said there is "no provision of accountability for what happens to the money."

Dr. Micheline Mathews-Roth, a Harvard University professor, joined him in opposing the bill and said that destroying days-old unborn children to advance research is unethical.

She also said adult stem cell research, which has produced dozens of treatments so far, shows greater promise than the use of embryonic stem cells, which have yet to cure any patients.

Scientists and researchers from across the state turned out in favor of the bill.

Dr. Diane Krause of Yale University, told panel members that the funding would help Connecticut compete with other states that are throwing millions at the unproven research. She said it would prevent top scientists from leaving Connecticut for other states where money is available.

State Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Southington, co-chairman of the Public Health Committee, told the Record Journal that he expected the bill to pass his committee and come before both the House and Senate this session.