Focus On The Family Misrepresents Women’s Views On Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Ballot Watch '06 In recent weeks, Focus on the Family has mailed brochures to more than 90,000 Missouri homes, arguing that stem cell research under the Missouri ballot initiative would exploit women by luring them into dangerous egg donations. The brochure, “Women’s voices against cloning,” quotes several women’s organizations to show “the risks that this measure [Missouri ballot initiative] poses to women’s health.”

Women’s organizations quoted in the brochure tell ThinkProgress that Focus on the Family has misrepresented their positions and that they actually oppose the organization’s aims to ban stem cell research.

Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, said that while she has some concerns about the somatic cell nuclear transplant (SCNT) technique, she is actually “very supportive of most embryonic stem cell research.” She also said Focus on the Family was “obfuscating [her] language” to support its own political purposes.

Focus on the Family also quoted Sujatha Jesudason from the Center for Genetics and Society. We spoke to Emily Galpern from that same organization, who also said that her organization supports some stem cell research. “One of our concerns is that conservative folks are co-opting feminist language to suit their cause,” Galpern told the St. Louis Dispatch. Galpern told ThinkProgress that groups like Focus on the Family are “taking women’s health advocates language for their larger goal of trying to stop embryonic stem cell research.”