PROPOSITION 71 IS DANGEROUSLY FLAWED

Proposition 71, the deceptively named "California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act," masks itself as a vote against the Bush administration's anti-choice and anti-science policies.

Don't be fooled.

Here is the unfortunate reality: Prop 71 is the wrong way to support embryonic stem cell research. It takes $6 billion of public money - $3 billion in bonds plus $3 billion interest - and gives it to an insider group of political appointees who would be able to make their own rules, with little public input, control or accountability. And there's no guarantee that California taxpayers will reap any financial or medical benefits.

We support embryonic stem cell research. But Prop 71 is dangerously flawed.

Prop 71 is an unprecedented taxpayer subsidy for the biotech industry, written by those who stand to profit the most.

Some of the technologies involved - particularly "research cloning" - have the potential for abuse. The researchers' need for a huge supply of eggs means "harvesting" them from many thousands of women. This prospect raises troubling questions about the exploitation of women, especially those who are young and poor.

It allows scientists to weaken national standards for informed consent and research on human subjects. It exempts researchers from some current and even future state laws. The legislature can't amend it for 3 years - and even then it would take a 70% super-majority plus the Governor!

Proposition 71 would cost California taxpayers $6 billion, paid over 30 years. Given our state's huge deficit, this money is likely to come from cuts in education, health care, and other programs-cuts that would aggravate existing disparities.

Join the National Women's Health Network, Our Bodies Ourselves, the California Nurses Association, the California Black Women's Health Project, the Center for Genetics and Society, the Council on Responsible Genetics, and a growing list of bio-ethicists, academics, scientists, medical professionals, and advocates, and Vote No on Prop 71.


More information

The majority of California newspapers that have taken an editorial position on Proposition 71 have said "No."

Many liberal and pro-choice opinion leaders and columnists are speaking out against Proposition 71.

For an in-depth analysis, see the assessment by the Center for Genetics and Society.

 

View the California Nurses'
Association ad

(30 sec, QuickTime, 1.3 MB)

CNA position paper [PDF]


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