by Steven Ertelt
March 20, 2006
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — A Michigan bill to repeal the state’s ban on embryonic stem cell research was the subject of a hotly contested legislative hearing on Tuesday. Supporters and opponents of the bill debated the merits of the research and whether the ban would lead to human cloning.
Backers of the legislation say they want to lift the ban because they claim embryonic stem cell research could lead to curing a host of diseases, even though it’s nowhere close to being ready to benefit patients, if ever.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm supports lifting the ban and pro-life groups must persuade lawmakers to stop the bill before it gets to her desk. The House Health Policy Committee was the first stop.
Pro-life groups say adult stem cell research is more ethical because it doesn’t involve the destruction of human life. They also say it has proven far more effective since dozens of treatments for people have already been produced.
"The benefits of adult stem cell research are making headlines across the globe as thousands of people are walking, seeing and moving again after undergoing adult stem cell therapy," Michigan Catholic Conference representative Paul Long told legislators.
"The facts are that nearly 30 years of public and private financing for embryonic stem cell research have failed to produce any positive gains, while advancements with adult stem cells are occurring on a daily basis," he explained.
"We want cures, too," Right to Life of Michigan legislative director Ed Rivet added. "But we have different means to achieving them."
The University of Michigan has become a leader in the field of adult stem cell research.
Rep. Andrew Meisner, a Democrat, is the lead sponsor of the measure and claimed embryonic stem cell research had the potential to be the next big medical breakthrough after the invention of penicillin.
He says his bill increases the penalties for human cloning for reproductive purposes, but it leaves open the door to human cloning for research.
Granholm, in her State of the State speech, said she favored fewer restrictions on the controversial research which has yet to cure a single patient.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your state lawmakers and tell them you oppose any bill to expand or fund embryonic stem cell research. Go to https://www.legislature.mi.gov