Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is continuing to push a plan that would force the state’s taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research to the tune of $1 billion over 10 years. Patrick says he wants the state to keep up with others like California, Illinois, and neighboring Connecticut, which have publicly funded the grisly research.
However, pro-life advocates are opposed to the plan because, while it includes the more ethical and effective adult stem cell research, it promotes embryonic stem cells — that can currently only be obtained by killing days-old unborn children.
“The problem with embryonic stem-cell research is that it is destructive to human life,” Marie Sturgis, the director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, told AP. Taxpayers should not be given a mandate to fund this unethical form of research.”
I don’t like attributing motives to other people, preferring to take their statements as to why they support a position as honest and forthright. But I have a hard time understanding the rush to fund embryo-destructive research without viewing it in light of the abortion debate. Why is there this rush to fund embryonic stem cell research, while ignoring adult stem cell research which, you know, works? If this is only about saving and improving lives, why are spending all this money in a speculative and risky area, while forsaking a path that has a proven track record of success? It’s hard to escape the conclusion that two competing motives are in play for many of those pushing the spending: 1) making it socially acceptable to perform research on embryos makes it that much harder to ban abortion, and 2) private funding is not as available for this research due to the riskiness and likelihood of failure. If it were likely to pay off, private funding would be available. The fact that the push is so strong to get government funding is an indication that experts making funding decisions are preferring to send their money to other, better alternatives. Government should learn from that example.