Michigan Millionaire Backs Embryonic Stem Cell Research Campaign

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 16, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 16,

Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — A wealthy Michigan businessman has pledged to support a ballot campaign to force taxpayers to pay for embryonic stem cell research. A. Alfred Taubman, a shopping mall magnate gave $1.4 million to Michigan Stem Cell Research & Cures, an organization that wants to put the controversial issue on the 2008 ballot.

Should the group be successful in collecting the petition signatures necessary to move forward, Taubman said he would donate more money.

The group has been hoping that the state legislature would approve a bill to overturn the limits the state has in place on making its residents pay for the science that involves the destruction of human life.

But if they’re unsuccessful, the group will move forward with its ballot effort and the organization has already filed the necessary papers with the state to get started.

Taubman said he donated the money because he has seen friends and family suffer from diseases and medical conditions he thinks could be treated by embryonic stem cells.

"I’ve known people who I’ve seen die," Taubman told the Detroit News. "Had embryonic stem cell research been around, I believe they’d be alive today."

However, while adult stem cells have already assisted patients with over 70 different medical problems, embryonic stem cells have never treated anyone and have had problems in animals because of immune system rejection issues.

The News reports that the gift doubled the annual budget of Michigan Stem Cell Research & Cures and a representative of the group told the newspaper it will use the donation to train people to educate the public about the issue.

The Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life of Michigan have been leading the fight against forcing taxpayers to fund the controversial research.