A little more than halfway thru her speech, Granholm said,
"If we are truly serious about improving both the cost and quality of health care in this state, we must tap the full power of modern science to combat life-threatening illnesses. Imagine having to watch your child suffer with juvenile diabetes. Imagine watching your wife lose her ability to speak, and walk, and even eat, as her Parkinson's worsens. Stem cell research holds the promise for finding cures and for improving the lives of thousands of people.
Talented researchers and businesses around the world are working right now on those cures…but we can't recruit them to Michigan to do their work because of the limits Michigan law puts on them. When human lives are at stake, we should lead the nation in this work, not put obstacles in our own path.
Tonight, I am asking you, our Legislature, to join with me in supporting this search for cures. Pass Representative Meisner's bill to remove the limits on stem cell research in Michigan, and do it now."
First, I should provide the current legal situation regarding stem cell research and human cloning in the state of Michigan. Human cloning was banned in Michigan in 1998. There are no limits on adult or umbilical cord stem cell research and the only "limit" on embryonic stem cell research is that you can't use a human embryo for non-therapeutic research in the state of Michigan. That means that researchers can't extract stem cells from human embryos (which kills the embryo) while in Michigan but researcher could import embryonic stem cell from another state or kill human embryos in another state and then bring their stem cells into Michigan and experiment on the stem cells in Michigan. And this is exactly what researchers from the University of Michigan are already doing. They have an official policy on embryonic stem cell research. They've imported some embryonic stem cells from James Thomson's stem cell lines and received federal funding and are planning on creating a $10.5 million stem cell center. So the whole "can't recruit them" because of limits is complete hogwash.
At the end of Granholm's quote she calls on Michigan's legislature to pass "Representative Meisner's bill to remove the limits on stem cell research in Michigan." Here's Meisner's bill. It's one of the most deceptive bills on human cloning that I've ever read.
The whole goal of the legislation is to remove the scientific definition of human cloning from Michigan's law books and replace it with a law whose definition of "cloning" allows unbridled human cloning as long as no clones are implanted for the purpose of bringing a clone to birth. The text could also possible be interpreted to allow for the implantation of human clones as long as the purpose was to kill the clones before they are born.
Here's my favorite part from Meisner's legislation (the scratched off text is the original cloning ban language that Meisner would throw out and the bolded text is the language he would insert):
a) "Human cloning" means
the use of humancreating or attempting to create a human being by using the somatic cell nuclear transfer technology to produce a human embryoprocedure for the purpose of, or to implant, the resulting product to initiate a pregnancy that could result in the birth of a human being.
What's the "resulting product?" Could that be a cloned human embryo? What pro-cloning advocates can't get away from is that somatic cell nuclear transfer is cloning and that it creates a clone. This is evident in all of their legislation when they bar the implantation of the clone. They can't call the clone a "clone" because then the gig would be up. So they're left to making up terms life "resulting product" or "the product of nuclear transplantation" or "the product of somatic cell nuclear transfer."
Michigan's legislature is overwhelmingly prolife so it won't pass Meisner's bill anytime soon but Granholm's speech indicates that she's not just in favor of embryonic stem cell research but she's also in favor of human cloning for research purposes.
Related: Strengthen cloning ban by legalizing cloning