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Michigan Chooses to Say Yes

by Willo RadgensPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Among the many interesting ballot proposals across the country on Election Day this year, my home state of Michigan had one concerning stem cell research. The very simply stated proposal allowed individuals who had sought fertility treatment to donate excess embryos that would have been discarded to medical research. As with other anti-choice legislation in this election, the opponents of this bill opposed it for primarily religious reasons. That's fine, and certainly not unheard of, but the problem was that they chose to publicize their objections through lies.

Opponents of Proposal 2 told me and my fellow Michiganders that this bill was loosely stated and would allow for previously illegal acts such as cloning to occur in our state. This is completely untrue as even I could understand after reading the bill, and I don't speak a word of legalese. The opponents played on a common fear employed by the conservative right: that this proposal devalued the lives of innocent children. The bills opponents confused innocent children with unusable embryos that would otherwise be thrown out.

Luckily, the people of Michigan saw through the lies to the truth. They voted yes on Proposal 2, painting another bright spot of hope on the canvass of this election season. Proposal 2 provides hope for the many people in and around Michigan suffering from illness, disease, and injury who might benefit from stem cell research. It provides hope to those in Michigan who are unemployed, struggling in the worst economy in the nation, for jobs that will be created through research, implementation, and the increased consumerism from people who travel here to reap the benefits of this life-changing research and implementation. And it provides hope for me. Hope that this will be another huge gain for reproductive and human rights. Hope that this is a huge step towards respecting women, people, and choice.

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