Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_89401

Stem cells in the US: political news

3 September 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 274

Bill Gates, the Microsoft chairman, has boosted a California ballot proposition that would provide $3 billion in funding for embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research within the state, by donating $400,000 in support of a 'yes' vote. The bill, known as proposition 71, will be voted on in state elections on 2 November, the same day as the US presidential elections take place.

If passed, California would become the first US state to publicly fund ES cell research: $295 million in state funds would be provided annually, for ten years, to Californian universities, institutes and companies wishing to conduct ES cell research, subject to certain limits. Proposition 71 would also create a 29-member panel to determine how the funds would be administered. Bill Gates is said to have contributed to the fund because he 'believes in the promise of science and research and development to create new ways to improve health and wellbeing around the world'.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the campaign in support of proposition 71 has a 'large financial edge' over an opposition campaign run by the group Doctors, Patients and Taxpayers for Fiscal Responsibility. The campaign, run by Californians for Stem Cell Research and Cures and known as 'Yes on 71', has attracted over $10.7 million in donations, compared to the $75,000 said to have been raised by the opposition group. In the lead-up to the ballot, 'Yes on 71' says it will lead a mass advertising campaign, including slots on TV and radio, as well as postal advertising.

Meanwhile, a number of prominent speakers at the Republican Party's national convention last week have aired their views against ES cell research. Senator Sam Brownback, a constant campaigner against all forms of human cloning, told the convention that 'every life must be honoured and protected'. He added that there should be 'respect for the inherent dignity, equality and sanctity of every human life'.

Senator Bill Frist, leader of the Senate majority and another known ES cell research opponent, defended President Bush's policy against allowing federal funds to be used for ES cell research, except on ES cell lines already in existence on 9 August 2001. Frist said that such research involves the 'destruction of lives of unborn children' and said that embryos 'deserve moral respect'. 'This President will not use your taxpayer dollars to destroy human life or create human embryos solely for the purpose of experimentation', he added. He went on to attack the views of Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Calif to Vote on $3B Stem Cell Project
Yahoo Daily News |  26 August 2004
Gates Contributes to Stem Cell Campaign
Yahoo Daily News |  25 August 2004
Pro-life Speakers at GOP Convention Discuss Abortion, Stem Cell Research
LifeNews.com |  1 September 2004
Stem Cell Initiative Attracts Backers
Los Angeles Times |  31 August 2004
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
4 November 2004 - by BioNews 
Voters in the US state of California have passed Proposition 71, a bill also known as the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. Fifty-nine per cent of people voted in favour, with 41 per cent voting against the measure, which will establish California as the first state to publicly...
1 November 2004 - by BioNews 
In the final run-up to the US presidential election on 2 November, both candidates have been heavily campaigning, including on the issue of embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry promises to abandon the restrictions placed on ES cell research by Bush in 2001. Bush's policy limits...
20 October 2004 - by BioNews 
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor of California, has formally endorsed a bill that, if passed, would provide $3 billion of funding for embryonic stem (ES) cell research in the state over the next ten years. The bill, known as proposition 71, or the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative...
18 October 2004 - by BioNews 
John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate in the US, has criticised President Bush's policy on embryonic stem (ES) cell research in a weekly Democrat's radio address. On 9 August 2001, Bush restricted federally-funded researchers to working on ES cell lines already in existence by that date. Now, the common consensus...
16 August 2004 - by BioNews 
Voters in California are said to be 'evenly divided' over a bill that would provide the state with $3 billion of funding for human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Known as Proposition 71, or the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, the bill will be part of the 2...
9 August 2004 - by BioNews 
The Californian Republican Party has voted at its annual convention to oppose a bill that would provide the state with $3 billion dollars for embryonic stem (ES) cell research. The California Research and Cures Initiative, which began in February, is backed by the group Californians for Stem Cell Research and...
9 August 2004 - by BioNews 
Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, has said in a radio interview that he would lift restrictions imposed by President Bush on embryonic stem (ES) cell research. He added that he intended to 'stand up for science'. The statements, transmitted on Saturday in the weekly Democratic radio address, marked...
7 June 2004 - by BioNews 
A bond proposal organised by the group Californians for Stem Cell Research and Cures (CSCRC) in order to facilitate state funding for embryonic stem (ES) cell research, has qualified for ballot on 2 November. The campaign, which began in February, aimed to establish a three billion dollar bond. The campaign...
HAVE YOUR SAY
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.