by Steven Ertelt
November 17, 2005
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — The Ohio state Senate has approved legislation that would ensure state dollars don’t pay for embryonic stem cell research. The vote comes on the heels of a state initiative approved by voters in November that would use millions for stem cell research in general.
Sen. Joy Padgett, a Republican, said he wanted to "protect life first" when describing his vote in favor of Senate Bill 210, which passed the Senate Tuesday by a vote of 21-11.
"I voted in favor of the legislation because there is nothing more sacred to protect than life," he told the Times Leader. "It’s been shown very clearly that life begins very early. People now are even adopting cells (for fertility purposes). It’s incredible. This was not a difficult vote at all."
The measure now heads to the state House, where it may have a tougher time being approved.
Pro-life groups pressed for the legislation after Ohio voters approved State Issue 1, which provides for state funding of bio-medical research. They’re concerned that the measure does not prohibit either the research, which relies on the destruction of human life, or taxpayer funding of it.
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft has promised taxpayer funds wouldn’t be used for embryonic stem cells that don’t qualify for federal funding but his provision would expire once he was out of office.
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.
Ohio Sen. Charles Wilson, a Democrat, also backed the bill.
"I like the idea it stops the use of state money for human embryonic research," Wilson told the Herald Leader. "I have taken a pro-life stance, and I would oppose anything that would pertain to the intentional killing or destroying of a human life."
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.