Wisconsin Gov To Catholics: Won’t Stop Embryonic Stem Cell Research Support

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 25, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 25, 2006

Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, has told the state’s two prominent Catholic bishops that he won’t back down from supporting embryonic stem cell research, even though it involves the destruction of human life.

Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Madison Bishop Robert Morlino had written the governor a letter Monday asking him to reconsider his stance.

In his response, Doyle touted the claim that embryonic stem cell research could cure patients, even though it isn’t anywhere close to working in animals.

"While I appreciate your thoughts on this important issue, I also feel a responsibility to promote vital research which holds the potential to save countless lives and bring thousands of jobs to our state," Doyle, who is a Catholic, told the bishops.

In their letter, the bishops criticized Doyle’s executive order spending $5 million in taxpayer funds to recruit more stem cell research companies to relocate to Wisconsin, according to an AP report.

In their letter, the bishops called claims that the destructive research could cure people a "morally flawed justification" for justifying the destruction of days-old unborn children for their stem cells.

They were also concerned that Doyle was emphasizing economics over ethics.

"To justify such research on economic grounds takes the conversation in a disconcerting direction — a direction that further diminishes human embryos to mere commodities," the bishops wrote, according to the AP report.

Doyle has continually upset pro-life advocates with his actions on bioethics issues and, last year, vetoed a bill that would have prohibited human cloning.

In November’s election, Doyle faces pro-life Congressman Mark Green, who opposes both embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Because of his pro-life views, he enjoys the support of Wisconsin Right to Life.

"Of course Mark supports finding cures but he believes we can do so without abandoning our moral compass," Green spokesman Rob Vernon told AP.