Cardinal George urges legislators to reject embryonic stem-cell research measure

.- Illinois legislators should reject a measure that would support embryonic stem-cell research with public funds, said Chicago’s archbishop. In his annual visit to the Capitol Wednesday, Francis Cardinal George told legislators that embryonic stem-cell research is not a good use of taxpayers' money, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Cardinal George said legislators should take the “moral” choice instead.

"I don't think that what is as morally questionable as creating embryos to destroy them for scientific purposes should be funded by public money," Cardinal George told reporters. "It's funded by a lot of private money right now, and you shouldn't use that kind of means even to come to a very good end."

The cardinal said there is no need for embryonic stem-cell research since “all of the medical breakthroughs, with one possible exception, have been with adult stem cells and with umbilical cords."

The Church supports adult stem-cell research but not embryonic stem-cell research, which necessitates killing the embryo.

State legislators supporting the measure said they plan to go ahead with the project, which would impose a 6 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery.

The proceeds would be distributed among research projects and facilities at Illinois universities. If the tax had been in effect in 2004, it is estimated that it would have generated almost $20 million.

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