by Steven Ertelt
August 20, 2007
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has removed a petition that supported using state taxpayer for embryonic stem cell research from her official web site. The move came after a pro-life law firm filed a lawsuit saying the petition’s appearing on the state-funded web site was inappropriate.
Granholm did not offer a similar petition for people opposed to having their tax money used to pay for the research, which requires the destruction of human life.
The Thomas More Law Center filed suit this month in federal court on behalf of the Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Flint-Area Right To Life and Right To Life-Lifespan.
The pro-life law firm said the groups represented pro-life people who felt discriminated against by the one-sided petition.
In a statement sent to LifeNews.com, TMLC president Richard Thompson said the battle over the web site isn’t over because Granholm has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
"It’s important to keep in mind that the web site in question is paid for and owned by the people of this State; it is not Governor Granholm’s personal property," Thompson said.
"Yet, she only allowed people who supported her position to use the web site to petition the leaders of the legislature — a clear case of discrimination against citizens who are pro-life," he added.
Last October, Granholm called on the legislature to approve two bills that would overturn limits protecting the people of Michigan from funding embryonic stem cell research. She created an online petition asking the state Legislature to pass two bills to do that.
“Join me by signing my online petition asking the Michigan Legislature to open the doors to medical research by passing the bills to lift the restrictions,” Granholm said at the time.
On July 6, 2007, Thompson sent a letter to the Governor asking that she immediately revise the portion of the web site addressing restrictions on stem cell research. The one Granholm posted sent the views of citizens who responded to the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House.
The governor’s office did not respond to the letter or to a phone call from one the Law Center’s attorneys.
While Granholm’s actions are a step forward in ceasing this discriminatory practice, the lawsuit also seeks a declaration that Granholm’s policy violated the constitutional rights of those citizens who were denied equal access to, and use of, the web site, Thompson said.
"Further, it has yet to be shown whether this is a principled end to the discrimination or simply an attempt to put the lawsuit to rest," he concluded.