November 26, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Opponents of ES cell research launch stealth attack in Minnesota

What’s going on with legislation on ES cell research in Minnesota?

Knoepfler lab H1 human embryonic stem cell culture
Knoepfler lab H1 human embryonic stem cell culture.

I blogged before about how Oklahoma legislators were heading toward passing legislation that would make it a crime to do ES cell research. Unfortunately, that legislation just passed.

As if that were not bad enough, now potentially life saving research in Minnesota is starting to come under attack.  A Minnesota anti-abortion group is pushing legislation, which very well may pass, to ban human cloning.   The hidden agenda here is to ultimately make ES cell research itself illegal. James Nord of the MinnPost.Com online newspaper has written an article on this quoting yours truly and also my good friend Meri Firpo, who is on the front lines in Minnesota.

What is going on in Oklahoma and Minnesota and other states is that anti-abortion extremists are targeting ES cell research for legislative bans at the state level. Even if federal law becomes clarified allowing stable federal funding of ES cell research, if states ban ES cell research it becomes extremely difficult for researchers to continue because even if said researchers have federal funding, state funds go into infrastructure (electricity, etc) that could not be used to conduct ES cell research.

It is important to once again emphasize that ES cell research has nothing to do with abortion by any stretch of the imagination.  The blastocyst embryos used to make ES cell lines are leftover from fertility procedures and their only potential fates are to stay frozen forever or be discarded (which is what usually happens). These embryos were created in a dish and were never part of any pregnancy.

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