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New stem cell battle looms

Queensland Catholic MP Ronan Lee is helping to lead the charge to scuttle state legislation on embryonic stem cell research.

The Catholic Leader reports that the legislation, which is expected to be presented to Parliament soon, possibly as early as next week, will seek to ratify Commonwealth legislation passed in December.

It will mirror the legislation adopted federally which allowed research on excess IVF embryos.

Mr Lee, who is the Labor Member for Indooroopilly, has been lobbying other state MPs to reject legislation on embryonic stem cell research.

"In Queensland, we don't need to have the blood of potentially tens of thousands of embryos on our hands," he said.

Dr Warwick Neville, who has advised and acted on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on stem cell research legislation, said the Federal Government had reached agreement with the states about passing back-up legislation necessary for the federal bill.

Dr Neville said that, if the legislation in the Queensland Parliament was rejected, in theory someone from Queensland could mount a High Court challenge to the Commonwealth legislation.

Catholic Leader

Ronan Lee (Queensland Parliament)
Australian Bishops say Parliament has 'crossed dangerous line' on embryos (6/12/02)
u/common/story_page/0,5478,5626290^662,00.html">Stem cell Bill passes (Herald-Sun)
Senate clears way for research use of human embryos (Sydney Morning Herald)
Stem cell laws rile Harradine (The Mercury)
IVF bill protest (New Zealand Herald)
Australia must not allow embryos to be stockpiled, says Anglican Archbishop, Dr Peter Jensen (Anglican Media)
Embryo research opponents look set to lose battle (11/11/02)
Catholic Health calls for delay in embryo research bill (24/6/02)
Report on the ACBC & friends hearing before the Senate Thursday 27/9/02
Embryo cell row clouds PM's visit to Pope (26/6/02)
Moral theologian speaks out agains discarding embryos (27/9/02)
Shift to belief that life begins instantly (2/8/02)
IVF researcher apologises to Catholic for 'irrational' slur (5/8/02)
Catholic bishops call on PM to present all the facts on stem cells (23/5/02) | text (PDF)

20 Feb 2003