Florida Anti-Stem Cell Research Initiative (2008)

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The Anti-Stem Cell Research Initiative did not appear on the November 4, 2008 statewide ballot in Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure proposed banning any revenue of the state from experimentation that involved the destruction of a live human embryo.[1]


There were two conflicting initiatives that collected signatures. The opposite of this initiative was the Florida funding of embryonic stem cell research (2008) which had been in the works since 2005. There were also two bills in the legislature that discussed stem cell research:[2]

SB 2496, HB 1065: Would allow state money to be spent on stem-cell research using human adult, amniotic, cord blood, and placental stem cells through a grant program. But prohibits the use of state money for embryonic stem-cell research. The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, is ready for debate on the House floor. The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, has one more committee to clear before it heads to the Senate floor.
SB 750, HB 555: Would allow $20 million a year in state money to be spent on embryonic, amniotic, and adult stem-cell research for 10 years through a grant program. Sponsored by Sen. Steven Geller, D-Hallendale Beach, the bill has three more committees to clear in the Senate. The House version, sponsored by Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Weston, has not yet been discussed in committee.


Citizens for Science and Ethics was a political action committee and sponsored the initiative. The group was formed to oppose the public funding of embryonic stem cell research and also to educate concerned citizens on the benefits of investing in ethical research performed on stem cells derived from adult tissue, umbilical cord tissue, and placental tissue. The group also listed that paying higher taxes for experimental funding as a reason to oppose state-funded stem-cell research.[3]

The Florida Catholic Conference opposed the initiative because it degraded the value of human life, they said.[4]

The former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, also announced that he was against the state funding of the research.[5]


Floridians for Stem Cell Research and Cures was the sponsor of the competing initiative. The group believed that stem-cell research would cure many diseases and was a worthwhile investment for the statement.[6]


The initiative was approved the Florida Secretary of State, however, it did not make the ballot.

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