by Steven Ertelt
March 14, 2007
Albany, NY (LifeNews.com) — More than 1,000 pro-life Catholics participated in a rally in the state capital and asked that legislators not approve a bill that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. They oppose a measure to spend $2.1 billion on the research that involves the destruction of human life.
Cardinal Edward Egan joined Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard in addressing the participants on Tuesday. The attendees wore bright red "Catholic Voter" buttons to let their elected officials know they were their to speak up for life.
Egan said state legislators should first look at types of stem cell research that are more effective and morally acceptable.
"We are 100 percent in favor of any medical research that doesn’t jeopardize the life of an innocent human being," Egan said.
However, the bulk of the legislative proposal, championed by pro-abortion Gov. Eliot Spitzer, would go towards embryonic stem cell research which destroys human life.
The Catholic church and pro-life groups have been lobbying state legislators for awhile on the bill.
Richard Barnes, the director of the New York Catholic Conference, appeared at a hearing the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee jointly held earlier this month.
"The governor’s stem-cell research proposal is devoid of any moral consideration whatsoever for the living human embryos who will be subject to experimentation and destruction," he said.
Given the fact that other economic needs are not being met, Barnes said the bill was fiscally irresponsible.
"New York is a state already deeply in debt, a state where millions of people continue to go without access to basic health insurance, and a state with its health care system in the midst of dramatic restructuring and downsizing," CNS reported Barnes saying.
"It is simply not the time or the place to be investing billions of dollars in the highly speculative science of embryonic stem-cell research," he added.
Under the governor’s bill the state would spend $100 million immediately for stem cell research and then add $50 million a year over the next 10 years. Voters would be required to approve $1.5 billion in bonds to raise money for the research.