by Steven Ertelt
October 23, 2007
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — A New Jersey appeals court held a hearing on Monday into an appeal from pro-life groups of a lower court’s decision allowing a ballot proposal that would make taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research. The pro-life groups say the proposal fails to disclose that the money will also pay for human cloning.
Gov. Jon Corzine and the state legislature have approved a bill asking voters to approve borrowing $450 million to fund grants over the next 10 years.
New Jersey Right to Life and the Legal Center for Defense of Life filed a lawsuit saying the proposal also does not tell voters that the bonds will be paid through higher local property taxes if sales tax revenues are insufficient.
Last month, Superior Court Judge Neil Shuster found the ballot question valid after a hearing and disagreed with the pro-life groups that the language is misleading.
Judge Edwin H. Stern said the appeals court panel will rule quickly since the election is just weeks away. He indicated he thought either side would appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
"We are not unaware of the fact that we are not the last stop," Stern said, according to an AP report.
Meanwhile, the state will begin building a new stem cell research center paid for with public funds.
Governor Jon Corzine signed a bill that would have the state spend $270 million to build new stem cell research centers. The measure includes $250 million to build stem cell research institutes in New Brunswick, Camden, Belleville and an adult stem cell research facility at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
The $150 million, 18-story tower is expected to be opened by early 2011.
Marie Tasy, the executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said that backed of the construction are "shamelessly exploiting the sick and infirmed with empty promises of miracle cures and false economic benefits."
She said they are misleading New Jersey residents because much of the study will involve embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to help any patients and has significant problems in animal studies.
Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life – https://www.njrtl.org