New Jersey Court To Hold Monday Hearing on Stem Cell Research Lawsuit

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Court To Hold Monday Hearing on Stem Cell Research Lawsuit Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 21,

Trenton, NJ ( — A New Jersey court will hold an initial hearing on Monday on a lawsuit pro-life advocate shave filed to stop a bill that would make taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research. They are challenging the bill Gov. Jon Corzine signed asking voters to approve borrowing $450 million to fund grants over the next 10 years.

The lawsuit says the bill fails to disclose that the money will also pay for human cloning.

New Jersey Right to Life and the Legal Center for Defense of Life filed a lawsuit in the Mercer County Chancery Division of the Superior Court on Tuesday challenging the bill.

Superior Court Judge Neil Shuster has scheduled a hearing for Monday — the same day that county clerks are supposed to have state ballots for November’s election ready for printing.

The suit seeks a temporary restraining order to stop the printing of the November 6, 2007 ballots and an injunction preventing the act from appearing on the ballots.

Under the lawsuit, NJRTL and 15 state residents say the bill fails to disclose that it will "finance the creation, experimentation and then destruction of cloned human beings through the entire period of normal gestation."

It also says the bill does not tell voters that the bonds will be paid through higher local property taxes if sales tax revenues are insufficient.

Assemblyman Neil Cohen, a Democrat, attacked the lawsuit in comments to Newsday.

"Scientific discovery should not be held hostage by the ideological hang-ups of a select few," he said. "For the sake of all of our neighbors, the individuals mounting this lawsuit should get out of the way of progress."

But New Jersey Right to Life director Marie Tasy told that the cloning portion of the lawsuit is important because the bill will likely exploit poor women.

"Since it is highly unlikely that there are enough left over embryos from NJ fertility treatments to meet the demands of researchers, there is a very real potential for exploiting NJ women, especially poor, minority and college-aged women who will be offered financial incentives to donate their eggs for cloning research," she said.

"The list of dangerous health effects reported from the large amounts of hormones used in the egg extraction procedure includes memory loss, liver disorders, early osteoporosis, ovarian cancer and death," she added.

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.

The case is McKenzie et al. v. Corzine and the lawsuit requests the court remand the bill to the legislature for further revision of its deficient interpretive statement.

Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life –