Michigan’s Proposal 2 Not Creating Jobs or Advancing Research, Pro-Lifers Say

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michigan’s Proposal 2 Not Creating Jobs or Advancing Research, Pro-Lifers Say

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 21
, 2009

Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — The University of Michigan today released details of the $6.8 million in federal stimulus-fund grants given to scientists for stem cell research. While economically-depressed Michigan needs the boost, Right to Life of Michigan has questions about the direction of the funding.

"Ten out of the 11 grants awarded to the University of Michigan scientists do not involve human embryonic stem cells as material for the research," Right to Life of Michigan president Barb Listing told LifeNews.com today.

"That is the good news, however, one grant does require human embryo stem cells to be used," she added.

The problem with sending the taxpayer funds to embryonic stem cell research is that it hasn’t yet helped any patients because of massive problems when used in animals. And, more importantly for Listing’s group, the only way to obtain embryonic stem cells is to destroy human life.

"In order for researchers to obtain embryonic stem cells, a human embryo must be killed. Killing some human beings in the vague hope of treating others isn’t valuing human lives and it isn’t ethical research," she said.

Listing takes issue with the suggestion that the passage of Proposal 2 in 2008 has encouraged the biomedical field in Michigan and said the reality is that it did nothing to aid scientists in winning the $6.8 million in grants from our federal government.

"Proposal 2 legalized experimentation on and the killing of human embryos in Michigan for research purposes. There were no restrictions on stem cell research in Michigan prior to Proposal 2," Right to Life of Michigan’s Listing indicated.

Embryonic stem cell research has been occurring at the University of Michigan with the support of federal tax dollars since 2003, RLM notes, and the University of Michigan candidly states that the one human embryonic stem cell study funded by the federal stimulus grants would have been permitted prior to the passage of Proposal 2.

Listing also points out that there are no new treatments from embryonic stem cell research.

"No human being has yet to be successfully treated with embryonic stem cells," she said. "The FDA halted the only approved embryonic stem cell research clinical trial because of safety concerns."

In 2008, Right to Life of Michigan worked as part of a coalition of Michigan citizens who joined together against unrestricted experimentation on live human embryos.

MiCAUSE, Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science and Experimentation, was put into place to provide accurate information so citizens could be informed about the November 2008 state-wide ballot proposal.

However, a slim majority of Michigan voters passed Proposal 2 — which amended the state constitution to allow “leftover” embryos in fertility clinics to be donated for destructive research, with their parent’s consent.

"The amendment comes with no definitions, no accountability and no penalties for violating the provisions set forth. Right to Life of Michigan supports a bipartisan package of bills introduced in June 2009 which draw clear parameters around this research as promised by the proponents and voted on by the people," Listing told LifeNews.com.

"Despite the passage of Proposal 2, Right to Life of Michigan will continue to fight any measures to expand further the destruction of human life in the name of research," Listing concludes. "Right to Life of Michigan continues to support ethical and proven stem cell research that today is benefiting those who are ill and suffering."

Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org

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