Stem Cell Research
Women have been largely invisible in the debate over stem cell research, yet women’s bodies are at the center of certain forms of this research. The effort to produce stem cells using cloning techniques requires women’s eggs as its raw materials, creating the potential for a global marketplace in women’s eggs. Moreover, the technology involved in cloning embryos for research could be the pathway to cloning human beings.
Until a few years ago, some scientists thought that cloning-based stem cell research would be the only path toward producing genetically specific stem cells for research and treatments. Now most scientists agree that new techniques will achieve this goal more effectively, and without the use of women’s eggs. But some scientists still want to pursue cloning-based stem cell research.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) was created in 2004 by a ballot initiative (Proposition 71) that allocated billions of public dollars for stem cell research. PCARR was founded to address concerns about accountability, transparency, and safety for women from an abortion rights perspective.