By Executive Order, Governor Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Department of Public Health to create a program that will award $10 million in grants to medical research facilities for the development of treatments and cures. The Governor estimated that the program, to be named the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute (IRMI), will be up and running by the end of the year.
"The governor has done an end-run around the legislative process to fund research that advances a utilitarian agenda in which the end justifies the means," said IFI Executive Director Peter LaBarbera. "As Yale-educated neuroscience researcher Dr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk states, while most types of stem cell research (e.g., adult and umbilical cord stem cell research) are 'morally acceptable and laudable,' embryonic stem cell research is 'always morally objectionable, because the human embryo must be destroyed in order to harvest its stem cells.'"
"As a society, it is wrong to harvest innocent human life to save other lives. Even as we struggle to find cures for diseases like Parkinson's, as a society we must always err on the side of life," LaBarbera said. "But Gov. Blagojevich has ignored these deeper questions to score some quick political points. There are great advances being made through (ethical) adult stem cell research, and none so far with research involving human embryos. There is no need to inject scarce taxpayer dollars into one side of this moral debate.
"The governor just couldn't resist busting the budget to make some more headlines," LaBarbera said. "A disturbing pattern has emerged: Gov. Blagojevich misuses his executive power to endorse liberal agenda positions on life issues-at the expense of reasoned democratic debate that would let the people of Illinois have their say on these matters."
Legislation designed to fund embryonic stem cell research with tax dollars has failed in the General Assembly.
According to the governor's press release, "By Executive Order, Gov. Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Department of Public Health to create a program that will award $10 million in grants to medical research facilities for the development of treatments and cures. The Governor estimated that the program, to be named the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute, will be up and running by the end of the year."
Illinois residents concerned about this action can contact Governor Blagojevich by clicking here or by calling: (217) 782-0244 or (312) 814-2121 [TTY (888) 261-3336].