by Steven Ertelt
August 22, 2006
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — Stem cell research is quickly becoming a key campaign issue for debate between Minnesota gubernatorial candidates Mike Hatch and pro-life Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Hatch is attacking Pawlenty for not supporting embryonic stem cell research and pouring taxpayer funds into a science that involves the destruction of human life.
Earlier in the campaign, Hatch put forward a proposal to spend $100 million in state funds on the unproven research, a call Pawlenty has resisted.
Hatch attacked Pawlenty on the issue again on Monday.
"He has dodged and avoided this issue," the state attorney general told the Associated Press. "He keeps claiming this is a federal issue. It’s not a federal issue. It’s a state issue. We can advance here."
President Bush vetoed a Congressional bill earlier this month that would have forced taxpayers to spend more money on embryonic stem cell research. The president said the nation shouldn’t fund the destruction of human life and pointed to numerous alternatives that are more ethical and effective.
Hatch told AP he wants Pawlenty to distance himself from Bush on the issue.
Pawlenty has said he strongly supports adult stem cell research, which has produced 70 treatments for various diseases and ailments, some of which have been approved by the FDA to use in the United States.
In July, Pawlenty said taxpayer funding for stem cell research "should be subject to tight controls and limits because of the moral and ethical issues involved."
On Monday, his campaign released a statement to the Associated Press, saying "Governor Pawlenty supports stem cell research but believes safeguards should be in place so that it is not misused."
Pawlenty’s opposition to abortion and his position on stem cell research has endeared him to pro-life advocates, including Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, which endorsed him in 2002.
Scott Fischbach, MCCL’s executive director, told AP, "We all want cures, we all want advances. But if the cost is to kill human beings, we shouldn’t go there."
The most recent poll on the subject, conducted by International Communications Research in mid-May, finds 48% of Americans oppose federal funding of stem cell research that
requires destroying human embryos.
Just 39% support such funding and another 12 percent had no position.
The ICR survey found 57% favored funding only the research avenues that do not harm the donor. Just 24% favored funding all stem cell research, including the type that involves destroying human embryos.
Related web sites:
Tim Pawlenty for Governor – https://www.timpawlenty.com