by Steven Ertelt
April 20, 2006
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Seeking to oppose the picture biotech companies paint about pro-life lawmakers and the claim they oppose all stem cell research, a leading pro-life legislator is pushing a measure that would spend $3 million in state funds on adult stem cell research.
Rep. Jim Lembke, a St. Louis Republican, wants to use a small portion of the Life Science Trust Fund for research using adult stem cells, which have already produced dozens of cures and treatments for various diseases.
He’s proposing to spend about $3 million in 2007 by using a small portion of the money the state receives from the tobacco settlement funds. The money would come from companies that were not originally a part of the settlement.
The measure relies on a 2003 law that indicated 25 percent of the money from that fund must go towards life sciences research.
The state House on Wednesday approved the idea, which would have the money go towards umbilical cord blood research, which has proven tremendously successful.
Representative Bob Johnson, also a Republican, questioned the timing of the proposal, saying that Missouri voters will likely be voting on supporting embryonic stem cell research on the November ballot. Backers of the destructive research want state voters to support it and to back some forms of human cloning.
Lembke worries that backers of the initiative are spending millions of dollars to pain t pro-life advocates as opponents of all stem cell research and he says that’s not true.
"There is a lot of misinformation that people on my side of this issue are against all stem cell research and that’s just not true," he said, according to an AP report.
He also said Missouri residents need to know that there are ethical kinds of stem cell research and that they don’t need to vote for the proposal in November to advance science and provide hope for patients.
"Adult stem cell research doesn’t necessitate the creation of a human embryo and the destruction of that embryo for research," he said.
Lembke’s bill is HB 1534.
Related web sites:
Missouri state legislature – https://www.moga.mo.gov