Senate Moves to Implement Embryo Research Proposal
Guidelines Needed to Enforce People's Vote

The Michigan Senate Health Policy Committee, on a vote of 5-2, advanced a bi-partisan package of bills designed to implement the constitutional amendment adopted by Michigan voters in 2008. The passage of Proposal 2 allows live human embryos to be destroyed for research purposes. Proposal 2 of 2008 contained a series of requirements for allowing embryos created for infertility treatment to be donated for research. The legislation moved by the committee January 20, 2010, ensures that those requirements are backed up in law with definitions and penalties.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “The debate over Proposal 2 is behind us. The legislature is doing its job by insuring the proposal is properly implemented and enforced. Voters approved this measure expecting the research would be limited to only excess embryos, that there would be no buying or selling of embryos and that parents would voluntarily donate their embryos. These bills will ensure that's exactly what will happen.”

Advocates of the research have falsely claimed that the bills would restrict researchers' abilities to use the stem cell lines they create by destroying the human embryos. Nothing in the bills restrict what researchers can do with the stem cells once they are harvested. An analysis of the Michigan bills shows that they are less burdensome than state regulations in both California and Massachusetts, the two leading states in regards to stem cell research.

Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet said, “The requirements in these proposed Michigan laws are no more detailed or demanding than the laws in states that are considered the most research-friendly in the country. Requiring transparency as to who is exchanging embryos and putting proper penalties in place will provide accountability and stability in research. Remarks have been made that these clarifications will keep researchers from coming to Michigan, such statements are disingenuous.”

With more than 20 members of the Senate already co-sponsoring or publicly supporting the bills, the package is expected to pass with a significant majority in the Senate. An equally bi-partisan package has been introduced in the House, with a strong majority of representatives supporting the measure as well. Action on the package in the House is expected to carry into early 2010.

For more information:
Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet
Work: 517-487-3376
Cell: 517-230-4661


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