2008.10.08 Ryan Shadbolt: Prop. 2

Written by David Green.

In Mary Marsh Gautz’s letter (Oct. 1), she invites Michigan citizens to research Proposal 2, which will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.  I fully support her invitation, but I feel that Proposal 2 may be painted unfairly by Gautz and the MiCause.com website that she cites.

In fact, the proposal does not allow for unregulated, unrestricted research on human embryos. Rather, the proposal restricts embryo research to the following limits: the embryos are created for fertility purposes, are not suitable for implantation or are in excess of clinical needs, would be discarded unless used for research, and were donated by the person seeking fertility treatment.  In addition, stem cells cannot be taken from embryos more than 14 days after cell division begins and any sale or purchase of embryos is prohibited.

Others against Proposal 2 may claim that embryonic stem cell research is already allowed when it is funded by private funds and may ask, why should we allow state taxpayer money to pay for this research?  Stem cell research is not my field of study, but as someone who has been frequently funded by research dollars, I can say that at least in my experience, the overwhelming majority of funds for scientific research comes from federal and state sources funded by taxpayers.  Private funds are only a drop in the bucket.

I just want to repeat that the embryos in question here are those intended for, but not used, in fertility purposes. These embryos will simply be discarded.  Therefore, no lives whatsoever will be saved by turning down Proposal 2. As stated by Gautz, there are other options available besides using embryonic stem cells, and those options have promise, but if we also utilize these otherwise wasted embryos, we increase our potential that much more of finding treatments for life-threatening conditions.  In other words, a vote in favor for Proposal 2, is indeed a vote for life.

– Ryan P. Shadbolt

West Bloomfield, Michigan

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
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  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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