Prop 71- State Money for Stem Cell Research
California voters will decide in November whether to make a major commitment of state money to stem cell research, which backers believe may hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Proposition 71 would place firmly in the California constitution the right to conduct stem cell research which could include the cloning of human embryos for medical research purposes, but would specifically prohibit cloning in order to produce a baby. Prop 71 would also establish a “California Institute for Regenerative Medicine” and would authorize sale of up to three billion dollars in state bonds to finance the Institute’s activities. State Senator Debra Ortiz is one of Prop 71’s leading backers. She says opponents who argue against research cloning must answer this question posed by the parent of a dying child. CUT: Ortiz18 :18 How can you say that a Petri dish in which cells that never saw the inside of a woman’s body, that have been sitting in a canister on ice, that will be thrown down a draining tube to drain once they’re discarded, is more life than my daughter who is alive and on track to die. Backers of state-funded stem cell research say it holds the promise of effective treatment or cure for a number of intractable illnesses. Opponents of Prop 71 include California’s Catholic bishops and a number of conservative anti-tax groups that warn against burdening the state with more debt. There’s also a feminist argument against Prop 71. Judy Norsigian (nor SEE jen) co-author of “Our Bodies, Our Selves,” says the process of embryonic cloning is dangerous to women. CUT: JudyNorsigian11 :11 We have not yet done adequate research on one of the drugs commonly used - Lupron – which involves basically shutting down the ovaries so you then you can hyperstemulate them to get multiple eggs. One other factor may play a part in the Prop 71 campaign. California’s business community is optimistic that state funded stem cell research could create a new “Medical Silicon Valley” that could reap the financial benefits from stem cell research breakthroughs. SOC