Sep 22, 2008

Stem Cell forum on tap featuring Dr. Joe Schwarz on tap

Nonpartisan Livingston County Voters Voice and Community Unitarian Universalists in Brighton are sponsoring a forum on the expansion of embryonic stem cell research that is on the General Election Ballot at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Brighton Performing Arts Center at Brighton High School, 7878 Brighton Rd.

In July, the Stem Cell Research Ballot Question Committee, now called Cure Michigan, filed petitions with 570,793 signatures to place the question on the ballot. On Nov. 4 voters will vote on Proposal 2 that will allow the expansion of embryonic stem cell research. Federal law allows embryonic stem cell research, but it bans federal funding of it. But Michigan has even tougher restrictions, and Michigan law makes conducting the research a felony. Rep. Andy Meisner, D-Ferndale, introduced House Bills 4616-4618 in April 2007 that lift that restriction, but the bills are stalled in the Judiciary Committee.

The proposal on the ballot will allow doctors and researchers to use leftover embryos from fertility clinics that would otherwise be discarded as medical waste, and use them instead for finding cures and saving lives.

Dr. Jack Mosher, Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, and former Republican U.S. Congressman and medical doctor
Joe Schwarz will be the presenters.

Embryonic stem cells are primitive cells that can be generated in a Petri dish after an egg is fertilized by sperm in a dish in a fertility clinic. Many scientists consider stem cell research the most promising medical technology of the 21st century. Stem cells could be used to treat or cure more than 70 diseases and conditions affecting millions of people, including diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), spinal cord injuries, blindness, and HIV/AIDS.

The proposal has widespread support, and the only real opposition is coming from anti-choice groups like Right to Life because of false claims that it will promote human cloning and that it is destroying human life. It ignored the fact that the eggs are simply thrown away when no logger needed.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call Voters Voice at (810) 229-7887.

The Voter's Voice is a group for independents, moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans formed in 2002 for people concerned about politics and public policy.

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