Florida Group: No Taxpayer $ for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 28, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Group: No Taxpayer $ for Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 28, 2005

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — While advocates of embryonic stem cell research are pushing a ballot proposal to spend state funds on the destructive research, another organization is sponsoring a competing initiative to ensure that no taxpayer funds are used on the unproven science. They hope to secure a vote on their proposal on the November 2006 ballot.

Citizens for Science and Ethics is a new group that says research that involves the destruction of human life should never be funded with state money.

The organization is backing a state constitutional amendment saying, "No revenue of the state shall be spent on experimentation that involves the destruction of a live human embryo."

Susan Cutaia, a Boca mortgage broker who is the group’s founder, says private research firms should pay for embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to cure a single patient, not taxpayers.

"We’re all referring to it as human embryo, so therefore it is a segment of the human population," Cutaia told WPTV.

"Granted, [an embryo] is minuscule. But it’s still human life," she explained. "As human life, are we in a moral position to say this segment of humanity should be harvested so I can live a better life?"

She indicated the group would rely on pro-life organizations and churches to help get enough signatures to put the amendment on the ballot.

Claire Thuning-Roberson, a scientist who is the secretary for Citizens for Science and Ethics, says public funds aren’t needed for the research. She worries it would drain money needed for state programs and that embryonic stem cell research is giving people a "false promise."

If it is approved, it will likely compete with a Floridians for Stem Cell Research and Cure-based amendment that seeks to make Florida residents spend $200 million in state funds on the unsuccessful research.

To make the November 2006 ballot, both groups must obtain 611,000 signatures by December 31st.

The state legislature is also likely to fight over stem cell research, though any bills to fund it will be vetoed by pro-life Gov. Jeb Bush, who opposes the practice. Sen. Rod Smith, a Democrat, has a bill to spend $20 million in taxpayer funds on embryonic stem cells.