.- The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has launched a major campaign to stop legislation that would allow embryonic stem-cell research.
The conference has responded to the news that several members of the General Assembly will introduce legislation to overturn Pennsylvania law banning research on human embryonic stem cells.
If passed, the bill would overturn part of Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act. It would permit the creation of human embryos through cloning. These embryos would then be destroyed for research. It would also propose that embryonic stem-cell research be supported by a half a billion dollars of public funding.
The conference acknowledged the need for ethical research to combat disease and injury, but restated its commitment to protect human beings at every stage of life.
"While the goals of curing disease and bringing jobs to Pennsylvania are certainly laudable, they can and should be accomplished with ethical research, which does not require the creation and destruction of human beings," said PCC executive director Dr. Robert J. O'Hara, Jr.
The legislation is being proposed by Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia), Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Pittsburgh), and Democratic Whip Rep. Mike Veon (D-Beaver).
The Catholic Conference notes that Pennsylvania has already been pursuing adult stem-cell research, which does not require the death of an embryo and is being considered by researchers to be more effective than embryonic stem-cell research.