New Jersey Panel Will Vote on 450M for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 18, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Panel Will Vote on 450M for Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 18
, 2007

Trenton, NJ ( — A legislative panel in the New Jersey Assembly will vote on asking state voters to approve borrowing $450 million to fund grants for stem cell research over the next 10 years. Pro-life groups are opposed to the idea because much of the grants will pay for destroying human embryos for their stem cells.

Should the committee sign off on the measure, the full Assembly would vote on it soon and then the state Senate.

Assemblyman Neil Cohen is behind the bill, which would build on the one state lawmakers and Gov. Jon Corzine already approved put a referendum on the state ballot to borrow $230 million for stem cell research over the next seven years.

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.

Marie Tasy, the director of New Jersey Right to Life, previously told the Associated Press that there is no reason to spend more money on embryonic stem cell research.

She said her group hopes legislators recognize "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."

"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 and this proposal could cost the state considerably more.

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.

Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life –