by Steven Ertelt
July 26, 2006
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is coming under fire for using the state’s web site to lobby for funding of embryonic stem cell research. Granholm urges Michigan residents to sign a petition asking state lawmakers to support legislation that would use taxpayer funds to pay for it.
Granholm criticizes President Bush for vetoing a bill that she says would authorize "new federal funding for stem cell research" — even though it only pertains to research using embryonic stem cells.
On the state’s web site, she refers to legislation sponsored by Representative Andy Meisner and Senator Gretchen Whitmer that would repeal a state ban on embryonic stem cell research and allow human cloning for research purposes.
She asks Michigan citizens to "join me by signing this online petition asking the Michigan legislature to open the doors to medical research by passing the Meisner and Whitmer legislation."
The measure received a state House hearing in March but pro-life lawmakers and groups have held it up since then — something Granholm complained about on the web site.
Michigan resident Terry Peck told LifeNews.com he’s upset that Granholm is "playing games" on the issue.
"She is setting up a straw man argument, attempting to paint all pro-life folks as against all stem cell research and funding," he said. "She fails to clarify her statements, differentiating between embryonic and other types of stem cell research."
Pro-life groups support an alternative bill lawmakers have proposed that would spend $5 million to create a stem cell bank to store umbilical cord blood and adult stem cells.
The adult stem cell bill is seen as a less controversial way to promote stem cell research. It would use funds from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to fund the stem cell bank.
"We can turn medical waste into miracles that can save lives," Republican state Rep. Leslie Mortimer, one of the sponsors of the bill, told the Lansing State Journal. He introduced the measure last month.
Rep. David Law, also a Republican, told the Journal that the measure is necessary because so many lawmakers disagree with embryonic stem cell research and its destruction of human life.
"It makes sense to promote medical advances that are successful and have great potential, without the ethical concerns that are inherent with creating and destroying embryos," he said.
Michigan Catholic Conference representative Paul Long previously told legislators "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,"
"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.
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