Pro-Life Commends Senator Brady for His Leadership in Opposing State Funding for Human Cloning and Research on Human Embryos
Illinois Federation for Right to Life and Illinois Citizens for Life today joined State Senator Bill Brady in urging members of the General Assembly to oppose funding for stem cell research that involves human cloning and research on human embryos. They applauded his efforts in getting commitments from 27 of his Republican colleagues in the Senate who have indicated that they will oppose any budget request for funding human cloning and research on human embryos.
Springfield, IL (PRWEB) March 17, 2006
Illinois Federation for Right to Life (www. ifrl. org) and Illinois Citizens for Life today joined State Senator Bill Brady in urging members of the General Assembly to oppose funding for stem cell research that involves human cloning and research on human embryos. They applauded his efforts in getting commitments from 27 of his Republican colleagues in the Senate who have indicated that they will oppose any budget request for funding human cloning and research on human embryos.
“We commend Senator Brady for his leadership on this issue and for urging his colleagues not to vote to fund the unethical and immoral practice of human cloning and research on human embryos,” stated Ralph Rivera, Legislative Chairman of Illinois Citizens for Life.
Governor Blagojevich in his budget address has proposed providing $100 million in state grants over the next five years beginning with $15 million in Fiscal Year 2007 to continue to fund the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute (IRMI). On July 12, 2005 the Governor by Executive Order used a vague line item in the budget to create and fund the IRMI with an initial investment of $10 million in taxpayer funds completely bypassing the General Assembly who had previously defeated measures that permitted human cloning and research on human embryos.
“Many members of the General Assembly were critical of this maneuver. Some members of his own party who voted for the overall budget were completely unaware that taxpayer funds were now going to be allocated for research on stem cells derived from human embryos,” said Nicholas J. Stojakovich, lobbyist for Illinois Federation for Right to Life. These careful and thoughtful legislators while being very supportive of the remarkable breakthroughs that have occurred utilizing stem cells extracted from sources such as umbilical cords, placentas, amniotic fluids, adult tissues and cadavers on more than one occasion said no to legislation that would have eventually funded immoral and unethical research on stem cells derived from human embryos,” he said.
A recent letter to members of the General Assembly sent by Governor Blagojevich and Comptroller Hynes drew attention to an attached article published in the New York Times about a possible link between stem cells and cancer and asked lawmakers for their support to make the $100 million in proposed grants for IRMI become a reality. “The article was about research, which has been going on for over nine years identifying stem cells in various types of cancers. The hope is that therapies that are more specifically directed against cancer stem cells might result in more durable responses and even cures of metastatic tumors,” said Rivera. “This research was done using stem cells identified in the cancer itself. It was not done using stem cells derived from human embryos. Pro-life has always and will continue to support this type of ethical research,” he said.
The initial Executive Order was amended by the Governor to remove a requirement that the Illinois Department of Public Health adopt rules for the issuance and administration of grants for stem cell research. Stojakovich noted that the Order clearly states on page 2, paragraph 2 that the IRMI program clearly intends to fund research on stem cells derived from “the product of somatic cell nuclear transfer.” He said, “Paragraph 3 inaccurately and unscientifically defines “human cloning” as asexual human reproduction by implanting or attempting to implant the “product” of nuclear transplantation into a woman’s uterus to initiate a pregnancy.”
Stojakovich went on to say that, “The product of nuclear transplantation referred to in the Order is a cloned human embryo and the most noted scientists in the nation have acknowledged this, as did the bioethics panels of both President Clinton and President Bush and the National Institute of Health. Regardless of the unfamiliar scientific terminology the process of somatic cell nuclear transfer creates cloned living human embryos, something that the advocates for funding have tried to obscure.”
“The General Assembly must act to not approve funding the deliberate creation and destruction of living human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells and to not permit grant funding for research on other types of human embryos,” said Rivera.
“All of us have witnessed the transforming power of hope. Life-threatening illnesses, injuries and disease provide some of the most moving occasions for hope. We hope that a loved one will recover from a spinal cord injury, leukemia, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and that they will be spared from a painful and premature death,” Stojakovich said. “For over 30 years highly ethical and moral research using adult stem cells has been going on around the world. Individuals with spinal cord injuries, leukemia and Parkinson’s disease have been treated successfully using adult stem cells, thus offering real hope not hype. No therapies in humans have ever been successfully carried out using embryonic stem cells,” he said.
IFRL and ICL are urging lawmakers regardless of their party affiliation to insist and insure that no funds proposed by the Governor for IRMI go toward research on stem cells extracted from human embryos or for the practice of somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning). They indicated that this is a top legislative priority for Pro-life.
To view the letter from Senator Brady to Governor Blagojevich visit:
Http://www. ifrl. org/BradyLetter. pdf (http://www. ifrl. org/BradyLetter. pdf)
To view this press release online visit:
Http://www. ifrl. org/press_releases/060315/index. htm (http://www. ifrl. org/press_releases/060315/index. htm)
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