Public Funding for Stem Cell Research

ByABC News
October 28, 2004, 8:18 PM

Oct. 29, 2004 — -- Famous people are urging California taxpayers to vote for a ballot initiative that would give $3 billion for medical research on human embryos. This research may be a good thing, but why must everything be a government project!?

Why should people be forced to spend their tax dollars on something they believe is murder? Many Californians do.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are already being spent to fund private stem-cell research, but private research isn't good enough, say supporters of California's Proposition 71. So celebrities like Brad Pitt, Michael J. Fox, Edward James Olmos, Dustin Hoffman, Bill Gates, Nancy Reagan and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger are urging voters to say "yes" to Proposition 71.

Without this additional government program, they say, the research will be paralyzed by the Bush administration.

That's not exactly true. President Bush has limited the embryonic stem-cell research that can be done with federal money, but researchers at Harvard, Vanderbilt and other private institutions already are spending millions on stem-cell research.

Maybe stem-cell research will be a great thing. But government is force. By making this a ballot initiative, it means that millions of people will be forced to pay for something they consider murder.

"I don't want to pay my taxes for something that I think is immoral," said a doctor who opposes the ballot initiative.

But Proposition 71 would force him to pay for what he considers immoral.

And California will have to go deeper into debt to get the money. California's already $53 billion in debt.

"This is like a family that's had its car repossessed, they're about to lose their home and the husband turns to the wife one morning and says, 'Honey, lets make a $30,000 contribution for stem-cell research.' It is wildly irresponsible," said Republican California state Sen. Tom McClintock.