While pro-family and religious conservatives hailed the 11-state sweep victory for amendments defining marriage between one man and one woman, they decried the passing of Proposition 71, a California initiative that will fund $3 billion to stem cell research.
The initiative, which passed 59.1 percent to 40.9 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, will allocate $300 million for 10 years to create the “California Institute of Regenerative Medicine” to fund and regulate all forms of stem cell research including the controversial embryonic stem cell research. The true cost of the measure will amount to $6 billion once interest payments are added.
Pro-life groups also strongly opposed the measure, questioning the morality of embryonic stem cell research, in which embryos are destroyed for their stem cells. Pro-life, pro-family, and most religious conservatives hold the belief that life begins at conception.
"Sadly, the people of California are headed down a path of death and destruction with the passage of Proposition 71," said Judie Brown, president of American Life League.
"The bottom line is, human embryonic stem cell research is always immoral and unethical," she said.
"One can never do evil, even if a purported 'good' might come as a result,” continued Brown. The result of a moral bankruptcy exhibited through the approval for the measure “could be followed by a matching fiscal bankruptcy,” she said.
Critics to the measure also say that Proposition 71 will pave the way for human cloning.
“For the first time, Californians have voted to use their money to finance highly controversial science that intentionally destroys nascent human life and will likely create cloned embryo farms,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
Proponents of the issue, which included Ca. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, say the funding will allow embryonic stem cell research to develop cures and treatments for a number of diseases, a claim pro-life and pro-family groups deny as they point to the facts.
"The truth is, there is no definitive evidence that human embryonic stem cell research will cure or treat any condition, including paralysis, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease,” said Brown, who also noted many voters were misinformed.
To date, embryonic stem cell research has yielded no cures, according to opponents, who champion the success of adult and umbilical cord stem cell research instead.
Perkins said, “The approval of Proposition 71 diverts scarce resources from the successful adult stem cell research, which has already provided thousands of cures.”
Wendy Wright, senior policy director of Concerned Women for America, said the amendment will force California voters to pay for this for ten years even if the results are not as planned.
“So, even if school children have no textbooks or highways are crumbling, for lack of funding, Californians will still have to pay for this unethical and risky research even if, say, in the third year they find that it’s completely unsuccessful they will be required by this amendment to continue funding up to $300 million a year to fund this risky research,” Wright said in a commentary clip on the measure posted on CWA’s Web site (www.cwfa.org).
Brown said the initiative will make California into the “the world's largest killing place,” and called on voters to support efforts to reject the measure.
"We urge all Californians who respect the dignity of every human being's life to speak out against and begin immediate steps to overturn this measure, which endorses the wholesale killing of the youngest members of the human family."