Thursday, February 21, 2008

State Senator Gretchen Whitmer Misleading the Public on Stem Cell Research

Recently on the Lansing-based radio show City Pulse Live, State Senator Gretchen Whitmer claimed the state of Michigan has "an all out ban on embryonic stem cell research." Senator Whitmer was quickly corrected by the radio host and admitted that Michigan only has a ban on killing human embryos for research and researchers can import embryonic stem cell lines from other states and do research on embryonic stem cells in Michigan. She then tried to claim that doing research on embryonic stem cells isn't actual embryonic stem cell research. Senator Whitmer apparently believes that killing human embryos for their stem cells is the only kind of embryonic stem cell research and actually doing research on embryonic stem cell lines isn't embryonic stem cell research.

She also falsely claimed there are only 5 embryonic stem cell lines approved for federal funding by the Bush administration. There are currently 21 embryonic stem lines available for federal funding. It should also be noted that the University of Michigan has raised funds to do research on embryonic stem cell lines which aren't approved for federal funding.

In addition, Senator Whitmer attempted to act like people with diseases in Michigan were leaving the state to receive treatment elsewhere as if embryonic stem cells were treating people in other states. The reality is that not a single human patient has ever been successfully treated with embryonic stem cells.

When the topic of human cloning came up, Seantor Whitmer said, "We have the same ethical reservations everyone else does about cloning. We don't want to get into that business."

If so, why did Senator Whitmer introduce Senate Bill 52 on January 24, 2007, which would, if passed, legalize human cloning (also known as somatic cell nuclear transfer) in Michigan?

Towards the end of the interview and when answering questions from callers, Whitmer claimed human embryos aren't human life because they are small and 4-days-old and that when life starts is a "personal question."

Whitmer agreed to the interview but didn't want anyone opposed to killing human embryos in the studio at the time of the interview but promised to do an interview later with an individual opposed to embryonic stem cell research. Right to Life of Michigan looks forward to correcting the blatantly false information being propagated by State Senator Gretchen Whitmer in the future.