New Jersey Pro-Life Group Opposes New Embryonic Stem Cell Research Plan

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Pro-Life Group Opposes New Embryonic Stem Cell Research Plan

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 21
, 2008

Trenton, NJ ( — A New Jersey pro-life group is opposed to a new embryonic stem cell research plan that it says violates the will of state residents. New Jersey Right to Life says stem cell research funding is okay as long as it doesn’t pay for studies involving the destruction of human life.

Last November, New Jersey voters soundly rejected a scheme to borrow $450 million for stem cell research.

Despite the vote, Assemblyman Neil Cohen recently announced plans to introduce legislation to create the "New Jersey Stem Cell Research Assistance Program" purporting to jumpstart financing for stem cell research.

As initially reported, the plan would include taxpayer indemnification for private investors when research institutions default on loans.

While Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, said she hoped the bill wouldn’t fund embryonic stem cell research, that now appears likely.

The current edition of NJ BIZ reports Cohen saying, "There could later be funding for embryonic stem cell research" and Tasy’s group says that’s not acceptable.

"We will urge opposition to this and any other stealth effort to circumvent the will of the people unless there is a guarantee expressly written into the legislation that this proposal shall never include funding for embryonic stem cell research," she told

She said the proposal "sets the foundation to later enact an end-run around the voters to fund embryonic stem cell research."

"The impractical, immoral, and unsafe nature of embryonic stem cell research will ensure a default on loans, guaranteeing tax credits to the financial institutions, which, in turn, will be transferred onto the backs of the hard working citizens of New Jersey through higher taxes," Tasy said.

Assemblyman Jay Webber agreed with Tasy’s assessment of the situation.

"I also remain opposed to any effort to put New Jersey on a path toward taxpayer-funded embryonic stem cell experimentation, which New Jersey voters wisely rejected last Fall," he said.

"Trenton lawmakers should not seek to achieve through the back-door what they lost at the ballot box, and I will stand with like-minded Members of the Legislature to oppose such efforts," Webber added.

Assembly members Mike Doherty, Michael Carroll, John Rooney, and Alison Littell McHose also issued statements sharing those views.

Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life –



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