by Steven Ertelt
June 30, 2005
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Ohio Governor Bob Taft used his line-item veto power to strike a ban on state funding of embryonic stem cell research from a state spending bill. The ban would have ensured that no funds under Taft’s $500 million Third Frontier initiative heading to voters in November could be used for the unproven research.
Taft said the ban was too restrictive and said it went beyond the policies put in place by President George W. Bush.
The president, in August 2001, laid down a policy prohibiting federal funding of any new embryonic stem cell research, but funds could be used to support research on cells already available before that point.
Bush’s policy "protects life by limiting publicly funded research to the use of only those embryonic stem cell lines that existed at the time the President determined federal policy," Taft said, according to an AP report. "This veto is in the public interest."
House Speaker Jon Husted indicated it was unlikely that the state legislature would be able to come up with the 60 percent vote necessary to override Taft’s veto.
Pro-life organizations had strongly supported the ban.
“We strongly support the … amendment prohibiting the use of state grant funds for research that involves the destruction of human embryos to obtain their stem cells,” Mark Lally, legislative director of Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.
“Since ‘adult’ stem cells have produced over 50 clinical treatments while embryonic stem cells have produced none, the [legislature] has wisely decided to invest in the only type of stem cell research that is both ethical and a demonstrated success,” Lally added.
Rep. Mike Gilb, the Republican lawmakers who inserted the ban into the budget, said it’s necessary because he worries embryonic stem cell research will lead to human cloning.
"There has not been the demonstrated progress in embryonic research like there has been with nonembryonic stem cells," Gilb added.
Initial trials using embryonic stem cells have proven disastrous. In one case, for instance, Parkinson’s patients who were injected with embryonic stem cells ended up growing hair in their brains.
Adult stem cell research has proven to be far more promising, offering treatments for everything from heart disease to breast cancer.
Related web sites:
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org