by Steven Ertelt
November 9, 2005
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Now that Gov. Bob Taft’s Third Frontier initiative has been approved by voters, pro-life groups and lawmakers in Ohio want the state legislature to pass a measure making sure none of the funds will be used to pay for embryonic stem cell research.
Karen Tabor, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Jon Husted, tells the Associated Press that members of the state legislature could consider such a proposal as early as next week.
Senate President Bill Harris put a similar bill on hold before Tuesday’s election but promised more hearings on it afterwards.
The Third Frontier Initiative, known also as Issue 1, approved various programs such as building and road repairs and high-tech funding in one package. Pro-life groups don’t want the $500 million set aside for high-tech projects to be used for the research, which destroys unborn children in their earliest days.
Some pro-life advocates agreed to support Issue 1 provided the state legislature approved the limit on using taxpayer funds for embryonic stem cell research.
Barry Sheets, a spokesman for Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, said he’s worried that language in the initiative saying the money will be spent "without limitations" will prevent the bill.
Taft vetoed a ban on using state dollars for embryonic stem cell research in June, much to the chagrin of pro-life advocates. However, he said in August he would make sure the money didn’t support new embryonic stem cell research conducted after that point.
Pro-life groups worry that taxpayer money will be used eventually because the order expires at the end of Taft’s term.
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.