Wisconsin Governor Bashes Republicans on Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 12, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 12, 2005

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin’s Governor Jim Doyle is blasting Republicans for trying to pass legislation that would prohibit taxpayer funding of unproven embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of human life.

At the state Democratic convention Saturday, Doyle told attendees about his mother, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

"I understand that it is probably too late for my mother. But I do not understand why any politician would stand in the way of research that could help millions of other families," Doyle said, according to an AP report.

However, Republican lawmakers aren’t trying to prevent state funding of all stem cell research. Instead, State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, co-chairman of the Legislature’s finance committee, tried to insert a provision in the state budget preventing tax-funding only of research on stem cells derived from killing human embryos.

Fitzgerald has since retooled his efforts to turn the language into a stand-alone bill that would accomplish the same results.

But AP reports that Doyle, who has proposed spending $750 million on the controversial research, said he would veto the legislation if it reached his desk.

"It is shameful, it is wrong, and as long as I am governor, it will never become law," he said.

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.

"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.”