New Jersey Governor Signs 450M Stem Cell Research Bill, Goes to Voters

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 26, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Governor Signs 450M Stem Cell Research Bill, Goes to Voters Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 26
, 2007

Trenton, NJ ( — New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has signed a bill that would ask 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.

The governor appeared at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in West Orange to sign the measure into law.

Corzine is using the bill as a means of attacking President Bush, who has twice vetoed a bill that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research that has never helped patients.

"Given the lack of leadership from the Bush administration, it is up to the states to do what is necessary to cultivate this cutting-edge research," Corzine has said. "I am proud that New Jersey is leading the pack."

But, according to an AP report, a leading state pro-life group has condemned the measure.

Marie Tasy, director of New Jersey Right to Life, has called the bill a "boondoggle referendum which will place a moral and fiscal burden on New Jersey taxpayers."

The measure Corzine signed would build on the one he and state lawmakers already approved to 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.

Tasy previously told AP 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 –