Wisconsin Stem Cell Research Battle Heats Up With Michael J. Fox Visit

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 2, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Stem Cell Research Battle Heats Up With Michael J. Fox Visit Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 2, 2005

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Actor Michael J. Fox visited a stem cell research facility in Wisconsin Tuesday, drawing attention to a plan by Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle to spend $750 million on the controversial research. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Right to Life is working overtime to educate legislators and the public about the ethics involved and effectiveness of adult versus embryonic stem cells.

Fox, who has become a national spokesman of sorts for embryonic stem cell research, said it was time he stopped by to "kick the tires" on the Wisconsin research institute he’s helped fund with more than $1 million of his foundation’s money.

He toured the Waisman Center on Tuesday, according to a report on the Wisconsin State Journal, and heard researchers talk about embryonic stem cells.

"It was the first time I’ve seen stem cells through a microscope," the actor said.

Fox visited the center with Governor Doyle, who wants taxpayers to spend millions on destroying human life to advance research.

That’s troubling to officials at Wisconsin Right to Life, which is urging state lawmakers and the media to learn the facts regarding stem cell research.

“We want to make it clear that Wisconsin Right to Life strongly supports stem cell research, as long as it does not involve the destruction of human life,” said Susan Armacost, the group’s legislative director.

“Unfortunately, there is a considerable amount of confusion on the issue because reports in the media about stem cell research often do not explain what type of stem cells are involved," Armacost explained. "And the difference between the two types is the difference between life and death.”

The pro-life group strongly supports the use of adult stem cells, because they do not involve the destruction of human life to obtain. They also have produced dozens of treatments and cures whereas embryonic stem cells have yet to cure any patients after years of research.

The group is hosting a lecture by one the nation’s foremost experts on stem cell research, Dr. David Prentice, on February 10. Prentice is a former professor at Indiana State University who now serves as a fellow at the Family Research Council.

Fox told the State Journal that he respects those who object to embryonic stem cell research but believed they were in the minority.