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Catholics for a Free Choice Supports Proposition 71: The California Stem Cell Research & Cures Initiative

September 7, 2004

WASHINGTON DC—Catholics for a Free Choice announced today its endorsement of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research & Cures Initiative. Proposition 71, which will appear on the November 2004 ballot, would provide funds needed for the development of potentially lifesaving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of children and adults and reduce health care costs.

Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, said, “Proposition 71 will provide much needed funding for embryonic stem cell research that could lead to cures for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries. Stem cell research has the potential to save lives, yet an antichoice minority continues to vocalize its opposition to scientific research on dubious grounds. While the Catholic bishops are against embryonic stem cell research, asserting the personhood of embryos, the majority of Catholics does not believe or stand with the bishops on this issue.”

A recent poll commission by Catholics for a Free Choice, The View from Mainstream America: The Catholic Voter in Summer 2004, demonstrates broad support for stem cell research within the Catholic community.

Washington DC-based Belden Russonello & Stewart polled 2,239 Catholic voters and found that a large majority of Catholic voters (72%) supports “allowing scientists to use stem cells obtained from very early human embryos to find cures for serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and Parkinson’s.” Strong support for this research (34%) outnumbers strong opposition (12%) by nearly three to one. The complete results are available

CFFC joins a coalition that includes Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations such as the California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Parkinson’s Action Network.