by Steven Ertelt
December 1, 2006
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — The Michigan state Senate has approved a set of bills designed to promote the use of adult stem cell research, which is already being used to help treat patients with a myriad of diseases and conditions. The $5 million legislation will aide in the setup of a network of stem cell banks housing umbilical cord 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.
The adult stem cell research bills received a 36-0 vote and, since the House has already approved them, will now go to pro-abortion Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Some state lawmakers who want to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research floated an amendment designed to lift a state ban on the funding, but pro-life lawmakers defeated it.
Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat from East Lansing, proposed the amendment and criticized Republicans and pro-life groups like Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference for opposing the controversial science.
According to a Detroit News report, Sen. Mike Goschka, a Brant Republican, countered Whitmer and said embryonic stem cell research is "the taking of human life."
"We must at some point demonstrate that we truly do believe in human life," Goschka said.
The embryonic stem cell research amendment was ultimately defeated on a 21-14 vote with Sen. Shirley Johnson of Troy joining Democrats supporting it and Democratic Sens. Jim Barcia of Bay City and Dennis Olshove of Warren joining Republicans to defeat it.
Three lawmakers didn’t vote on the amendment.
Pro-life groups say adult stem cell research is more ethical because it doesn’t involve the destruction of human life. They also say it has proven far more effective since dozens of treatments for people have already been produced.
"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," Michigan Catholic Conference representative Paul Long told legislators.
"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 and Michigan State is working on a method of obtaining embryonic stem cells without destroying human life.