Wednesday, April 19, 2006

WI Legislator Seeking to Separate ESCR facilities at UW

[original posted April 19, 2006, 8:30 AM]

Solemnity of Easter Wednesday

Wisconsin State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald is seeking to have state officials separate embryonic stem cell research conducted at the University of Wisconsin from other research by having the scientists and their privately funded projects housed in a different building to make sure taxpayer funds intended for other research are not misdirected to morally illicit studies.

The university's latest plans call for the state to build two separate facilities... This sounds good in principle, but under their plan both facilities will exist under the same roof and be connected by walkways and an atrium. To claim these are separate and distinct operations is as false as saying that the state Assembly and Senate have no contact with one another because they're in separate wings of the Capitol with the Rotunda between them.
As long as the law tolerates the willful destruction of young human life, this is a prudent measure.


A pro-ESCR Missouri group has already spent more than $6M in its campaign to get a funding initiative on this fall's ballot approved. Also, a pro-life group has filed an appeal of a decision that the initiative's wording is not misleading when it claims to be banning human cloning, but in fact only does so for reproduction, while allowing cloning for research.

An amendment to California's Proposition 71 will be on the ballot this fall. After rushing to follow the siren song of "new hopes for cures and treatments for millions of people," the law's ability to safeguard public accountability and funding transparency has proved to be riddled with holes.

Florida's vision for biomedical research is clouded in the dust being kicked up by the election year dance. The Tallahassee Democrat also has this from the same editorial:
More than 180 stem-cell bills were introduced in state legislatures last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They are as conflicting elsewhere as here [in Florida], with some encouraging stem-cell research, others criminalizing it and with a variety of approaches in between.
Many believe that abortion is at the heart of the ESCR debate. If so, then there should be no illusion as to how much work remains for a common pro-life philosophy to be adopted in any state, much less nationwide, particularly if Roe/Casey is ever overturned, or vacated.

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