by Steven Ertelt
January 15, 2007
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — A New Jersey Assembly committee will consider a bill on stem cell research later this week that pro-life groups oppose. On Thursday it will take up a measure to put a referendum on the state ballot to borrow $230 million for stem cell research over the next seven years that would include destructive embryonic stem cell research.
Some lawmakers are opposed because human life is destroyed in the research but others are concerned about the state’s debt.
They are worried about adding to the debt at a time when state debt has doubled since 2000 to $29.7 billion.
The Assembly Health Committee will consider two proposals on Thursday.
One, approved by the Senate 26-9 last June, is the $230 million ballot measure and the other would ask voters to approve borrowing $500 million. That bill has not yet received state Senate approval.
Marie Tasy, the director of New Jersey Right to Life, told the Associated Press that there is no reason to spend more money on embryonic stem cell research.
"We hope the governor recognizes that what is best for our nearly nine million citizens is to have their money spent wisely and responsibly on research that is ethical, safe, effective and does not destroy life at any stage," she said.
"Good moral and fiscal discipline demands no less," Tasy added.
The debt on the $230 million proposal would cost an estimated $18.9 million, according to legislative staff.
The money would be in addition to a bill Governor Jon Corzine signed last month that would have the state spend $270 million to build new stem cell research centers. The measure includes $250 million to build stem cell research institutes in New Brunswick, Camden, Belleville and an adult stem cell research facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
Tasy said that legislation would result in "the exploitation of women and the mass production of cloned human embryos and fetuses for use in destructive experimental research."
Tasy pointed to a 2003 law which allows scientists to clone and kill human embryos for research purposes.
"[Scientists] will have absolute authority to clone and kill human beings through the embryo, fetal and newborn stages for their organs, parts and tissues,” Tasy said.
Corzine’s signing of the bill came after an announcement that he will spend $10 million form the state budget on stem cell research.
Unlike the measure, which relies on the sale of state bonds to raise the funding, the $10 million involves the use of taxpayer funds and 70 percent of the grants will go to scientists using embryonic stem cells.
Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life – https://www.njrtl.org