According to the Times survey, Propositon 71, a California initiative that would generate $3 billion from tax-free state bonds in a period of 10 year to fund the stem cell research, including therapeutic cloning, is likely to be approved in the State Legislature.
Surveys show that the measure receives a majority support from Californians. Recently, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has endorsed the proposal saying embryonic stem cell research can help to save countless lives.
However, pro-life advocates believe embryonic stem cell research is a violation of human rights because it would allow the destruction of days-old human embryos. Besides its ethical issue, pro-lifers also reason that funding for such research projects would increase the state’s debt in addition to its already damaged economy.
Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, wrote a letter to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urging him to strike down the proposal.
Speaking on behalf of the thousands of California families involved in the work of Family Research Council,Perkins wrote, "For the first time, public money would be used to finance highly controversial science that intentionally destroys nascent human life and would likely create cloned embryo farms."
Perkins emphasized, "Should California fund human cloning, as Proposition 71 requires, an ethical threshold will be crossed that could not be reversed."
Currently, there is no state level funding for stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for the project. In response to this situation, a coalition of California families and medical experts introduced Proposition 71 in effort of closing the stem cell research funding gap.
Proposition 71 will appear on the State's November 2004 ballot. Advocates of the initiative gathered some 1 million signatures to support funding for the research.