Republican Wisconsin legislators have introduced a bill that would ban the use of fetal tissue in medical research. Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a leader in stem cell research, are obviously very worried about this push. If successful, the bill would decimate research at the institution, and its potential impacts are likely not fully understood by the legislators leading this latest anti-intellectual charge.
The success of this medical research could have far-reaching
implications for untold millions of Americans. For example, my mother-in-law had
dementia in her final days. My wife and I have often said that we lost her twice:
Once when she was diagnosed with the disease, and again when she died.
Research being done at the University of Wisconsin could prevent
dementia in the future, and save a child from having to watch a parent's
mental decline. If Republicans are successful in banning the use of
fetal tissue there, that research will simply move to another university
in another state, where anti-intellectual laws like this are not in
The scientists conducting the research, their grad students, grant
money, and any profits from patents on medical discoveries will leave
the state as well. Way to go, Wisconsin GOP.