New Mexico bishops meet governor, voice opposition to stem cell research

.- New Mexico's three Catholic bishops met with Gov. Bill Richardson on Thursday to urge him to reconsider proposed state funding for embryonic stem cell research.

The governor's budget includes $3.8 million in capital funding and $2.2 million in recurring funds to build a new facility for stem cell research, but it does not specify the type of stem cell research.

Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe distinguished between embryonic stem cell research, which kills innocent human life, and other research that is not problematic and uses adult stem cells and stem cells taken from amniotic fluids, reported the Alamogordo Daily News. He expressed concern that embryonic stem cell research could lead to human cloning.

"We hope that there wouldn't be public money used to develop the research that is ethically problematic," Sheehan reportedly said.

According to the newspaper, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces said the bishops do not want to put a stop to advances in modern medicine but they are against unethical research, such as that which uses embryos.

Archbishop Sheehan said Richardson listened to their appeal, but did not make any commitment. A spokesperson said the governor would consider the bishops’ concerns.

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