News Articles

LIFE DIGEST: Mass. to promote destructive stem cell research; Calif. considers assisted suicide; S.D. pro-life bills now law

WASHINGTON (BP)–The state of Massachusetts is poised to endorse destructive embryonic stem cell research, even though its governor plans to veto the legislation.

On the final two days of March, the Massachusetts legislature approved a bill promoting stem cell research using embryos. The Senate and House of Representatives passed separate measures with majorities of more than two-thirds, which is required to override a governor’s veto. The different versions will have to be reconciled by a conference committee made up of members of both houses.

Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, said April 1 he would veto the bill but conceded his action would not be upheld, the Boston Globe reported.

“The game is over, if you will,” he said, adding he would “of course vote my conscience, but I think this is one [in which] the story is completed.

“I think there will be a view that Massachusetts, like California, is crossing into territory that our nation has never gone into before.”

Romney opposed the bill in a radio commercial, calling it a “radical cloning bill,” according to the Globe. He approves of the use for research of embryos stored in fertility clinics, however.

An attempt also will be made to pass another measure that would provide as much as $100 million in grants for embryonic stem cell research.

Procuring stem cells from an embryo destroys the tiny human being.

Last fall, California voters approved an initiative establishing an institute to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research. It authorized the sale of $300 million in bonds each year for a decade to fund the research. The initiative not only supports embryonic stem cell research, but it permits the cloning of human embryos for research purposes, which also destroys the tiny human beings.

CALIFORNIA SUICIDE RUSH -– California already leads the 50 states in sponsoring destructive embryo research, and some of its legislators want to catch up with Oregon on physician-assisted suicide.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing April 12 on A.B. 654, which would legalize assisted suicide. Oregon is the only state so far to legalize the practice. Oregon’s latest report showed 208 people had died by assisted suicide since it became legal in 1997.

Joni Eareckson Tada said she fears the death of Terri Schiavo through the removal of her feeding tube may aid the assisted-suicide advocates in her state. Speaking on the April 1 radio broadcast of Focus on the Family, Tada said, “[W]hat I’m afraid is … that what has happened in Florida will make more brazen these state assemblymen here in California.”

Tada, a quadriplegic, is the founder and president of Joni and Friends, a Christian ministry to the disabled. She is a popular speaker and author among evangelicals.

In March, the House of Delegates of the California Medical Association reaffirmed its opposition to assisted suicide.

SOUTH DAKOTA LIMITS ABORTION –- South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds, a Republican, has signed into law four pro-life bills, including one outlawing abortion in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

According to LifeNews.com, the other bills:

— Establish a panel to study abortion’s impact.

— Assure women receive appropriate information on alternatives to and risks of abortion.

— Inform parents when an emergency abortion, which is permitted by law on minors without the parents’ prior knowledge, has been performed on their daughter.

Planned Parenthood of Sioux Falls, the state’s only abortion clinic, is considering a legal challenge, a representative said, according to LifeNews. The Sioux Falls facility performed 815 of the state’s 826 abortions in 2002, according to LifeNews.

The Roe v. Wade opinion struck down all state laws prohibiting abortion and had the effect of legalizing the practice for all reasons throughout all stages of pregnancy.