Legislation that would restrict research using fetal body parts has cleared a state Assembly committee. Democrats, including Representative JoCasta Zamaripa (D-Zamaripa), said that enacting the bill into law will have dire consequences for the biomedical research in the state, and will not reduce abortions.
“I just want to stress what these folks have said at the UW, the folks conducting this lifesaving research, banning future research like you’re doing with this bill will not reduce abortions sir,” Zamaripa told Assembly Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee chair, Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc).
Kleefisch also cited the testimony of the UW’s Dr. Robert Golden. “Dr. Golden testified that if women stopped having abortion, it would be very detrimental to his research, which I think tells us a great deal about his desire for the continuation of abortions to further his research,” Kleefisch said.
Representative Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) suggested that passing the bill could mean fewer cures for people with life-threatening conditions. “All they can do is hope and hope and hope that tomorrow some incredibly brilliant scientist is going to find a cure for their death sentence,” Goyke said.
That drew a response from Kleefisch. “You know who I think about? I think about the scientist who would have cured cancer, but never had the chance to be born. That’s who I think about.” The bill passed out of the committee on a 6-5 vote. Representative Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) voted no, citing concerns about criminal penalties for researchers. Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) was out of the country.