OK House votes to ban embryonic stem cell research

      The Oklahoma State House of Representatives passed a measure that would outlaw the destruction of embryonic stem cells.
      The author of the bill, Representative Dan Fisher, says House Bill 2070 is about stopping the destruction of human life. He says his efforts are aimed at making sure all life has a chance.
      "The right to life, and the sanctity of life is one of my most important issue," Fisher said.
      "It has nothing to do with stem cell research---first of all, it won't even affect adult stem cell, which, by the way, is where all of the cures and treatments are coming from, there have been little or no advances in the embryonic stem cell research," Fisher said.
      House republican Dr. Doug Cox, who voted no on this issue, disagrees.
      "Embryonic stem cell research is being looked at for some of the common killers of Americans, such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease as well as some of the more rare, but equally debilitating diseases like muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig's disease, and the list goes on and on," Cox said.
      The measure passed the house Monday 73-14. Cox was one of two Republicans who voted against the measure.
      "To say Oklahoma doesn't want to participate in that kind of research that we don't want to be a player in that game sends a negative message to scientists that hey that's not a very progressive state," Cox said.
      Cox says if the measure is signed into law, it will create tens of thousands of embryos that are unusable and taxpayers will have to foot the bill to store something that can't be destroyed.
      He says he feels the bill is written with the right idea, but isn't supported in science or in practice.
      "Some people think you get embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses, and that somehow, if we allow that type of research, it's going to increase abortions, well, that's the farthest thing from the truth," Cox said,
      "All it does is restricts what I call the unnecessary murder of a human embryo because I believe that life begins conception," Fisher said.
      Full text of the bill