For Immediate Release
August 13, 2004
California NOW Endorses Proposition 71
Joins broad coalition determined to bring cures to California
(Sacramento, CA -- California National Organization for Women (CA NOW) today announced its endorsement of Proposition 71 - the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative. Proposition 71, which would appear on the November 2004 ballot, would provide funds needed for the development of lifesaving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults and reduce health care costs.
CA NOW Executive Director Helen Grieco said, "Stem cell research has the potential to alleviate the suffering of millions of Americans. Proposition 71 will provide the much needed funding to make the promise of new cures and treatments a reality. To explore the therapeutic potential of undifferentiated human cells is to find treatments and cures for Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, spina bifida, and a host of other diseases and conditions. These devastating medical problems affect a child or adult in nearly half of all families. How can we turn our back on the potential of this groundbreaking scientific research in good conscience?"
Grieco added, "the leading opponents of this kind of research are the anti-choice and right-wing religious extremists who believe that the cells created within a woman's body should be governed by politicians. As a feminist organization, we support health initiatives that benefit women. Stem cell research benefits all of us. It could lead to improving quality of life and curing diseases that we never dreamed could be cured."
In 2002, the National Organization for Women voted to approve a resolution that states that "NOW will actively support research...using embryonic stem cells...as well as federal funding for such research."
CA NOW joins a coalition that already includes Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations like 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.
Currently, there is no state level funding for stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research. Proposition 71 would provide the needed funding for lifesaving stem cell research, requires strict fiscal and public accountability, protects and benefits the state budget, and includes strict ethical deadlines.
California NOW is the largest state feminist organization in the country, with 80,000 members and donors statewide.