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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.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.

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