One of the top priorities of The Family Foundation this year is to pass legislation that will prohibit wasteful and unethical research that requires the destruction of human embryos. Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst) has introduced HB 1162 to ensure that this type of research is discontinued in Virginia. Opposition to this bill is fierce. Please contact your Delegate and urge them to support this important bill when it comes to the House floor for a vote and to sign onto the bill as a co-patron.

The biotech and biosciences industries are extremely aggressive this year in opposing our efforts. As Governor McDonnell has made economic development and jobs a top priority, there are legislative and administration efforts to bring bio-tech businesses to Virginia. While we encourage and applaud such efforts, we do so with the expectation that those corporations will understand that Virginia is not in the business of using taxpayer dollars to subsidize businesses that participate in failed and unethical research. Virginians should not be asked to prop up corporations making such poor management decisions, thus causing Virginians to invest in failure.

Virginia needs to send a clear message to the biosciences industry that they are welcome in Virginia if they are making wise monetary and scientific decisions. This is the real pro-science position. Why would we demand that Virginia’s taxpayers subsidize businesses that support failed research that is losing support in the scientific community on a daily basis? What is the political motivation for those who blindly continue to advocate for the use of taxpayer money for research that is simply not matching its alleged promise? Why would Virginia invest in businesses that would make such a shortsighted and ignorant investment decision?

Many prominent researchers and medical leaders have urged a departure from failed embryonic stem cell research in recent years. In December, Ian Wilmut, the scientist who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep, urged fellow researchers at the Stalk Institute annual Stem Cell Meeting to forego embryonic stem cell research. He told researchers ESCs has serious flaws and that there are more promising types of research. He added that he believes other research likely will overtake embryonic stem cell research.

Meanwhile, the alternative to this unethical research, using adult stem cells, is producing treatments and cures for multiple diseases. It’s time for Virginia to put taxpayer money into something that works instead of propping up failure. Virginia public officials shouldn’t risk ending up with a Solyndra type scandal similar to the White House’s preferential treatment of the failed California energy company.

ACTION: Contact your Delegate and urge them to support HB 1162 and to co-patron the legislation!