by Steven Ertelt
April 26, 2006
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Gov. Jim Doyle is coming under fire from pro-life advocates for signing an executive order directing the Wisconsin Department of Commerce to spend $5 million in taxpayer funds on attracting stem cell research companies to the state.
Pro-life groups say he shouldn’t be spending public funds on attracting research firms that use studies that destroy human life.
Doyle signed the order at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the state will use the funds to try to lure top research companies to the state.
"I think we should settle for nothing less than being the stem cell leader, not only in this country but in the world," Doyle said, according to an AP report.
However, Susan Armacost, legislative director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said the governor is trying to attract the wrong kind of companies to move to the state.
"Unfortunately, the kind of stem cell research Doyle wants to attract to our state is the wrong kind," she said.
"It is well known that there have been zero diseases and conditions alleviated or cured through the use of embryonic stem cells," Armacost explained. "The reason? Embryonic stem cells are too dangerous to put into a human person because the cells cannot be controlled and can create tumors."
She said Wisconsin pro-life people do not want their tax funds used on research that destroys human life when adult stem cell research is more ethical and more successful.
But Doyle hopes his executive order will be a sign for pro-life groups that they should quite trying to pass a ban on human cloning, which he vetoed last year.
"We have got to turn back the senseless attacks on stem cell research," he said.
Doyle indicated the state has been falling behind others like California and New Jersey since Thomson, a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher, became the first to isolate embryonic stem cells in 1998.
Armacost said the governor is being hypocritical because the state has no cord blood stem cell bank, which should be a first priority since it has already helped patients.
"It is unbelievable that Wisconsin houses the national embryonic stem cell bank but has no cord blood bank," she said.
"It is impossible to understand why our state and Governor Doyle continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into embryonic stem cell research and completely ignore adult stem cell research," Armacost added. "Yet, those of us who advocate for ethical, successful stem cell
research are accused of hurting the Wisconsin economy and depriving people of jobs."
In the gubernatorial race this year, WRTL is backing Mark Green, a Republican candidate for governor who is challenging Doyle. The group says Green has been a strong pro-life advocate both in Congress and the state legislature.