Illinois Committee Backs Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Illinois Committee Backs Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Email this article
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by Maria Vitale Gallagher Staff Writer
March 21, 2005

Springfield, IL ( — An Illinois legislative committee has approved a bailout bill for the biotech lobby. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a measure to put a referendum on the November 2006 ballot asking voters to support embryonic stem cell research in Illinois.

The legislation would allow the state to sell $1 billion in bonds to create the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute, which would award embryonic stem cell research grants to Illinois universities and institutions over a ten-year period.

The author of the bill, state Comptroller Dan Hynes, said, “We need to provide researchers the tools and capabilities to conduct their research within an ethical and moral framework in order to provide cures for many diseases and conditions.”

However, embryonic stem cell research has not resulted in any successful treatments so far. In fact, a number of physicians have concluded that initial trials have been disastrous.

While backers of the proposal say embryonic stem cells could be used for diseases ranging from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s, there’s been no concrete evidence that such research actually works.

Embryonic stem cell research also creates an ethical quagmire because it involves the destruction of living human embryos. In contrast, adult stem cell research, which does not involve the killing of embryos, has been used to successfully treat dozens of diseases.

The Illinois Federation for Right to Life has stated, “that claims of embryonic stem cells being used to cure all of the diseases that are incurable today have been clearly exaggerated and that adult stem cell research which pro-life supports has actually been used therapeutically to treat leukemia and other diseases since the 1980s.”

The Catholic Conference of Illinois, which also opposes the legislation, has stated, “While we are called to be compassionate, this does not justify using public funds for embryonic stem cell research or human cloning.”

Related web sites:

Illinois General Assembly –
Illinois Federation for Right to Life-
Illinois Catholic Conference-