The state's Roman Catholic bishops have quite properly sent a letter to Governor Doyle expressing their opposition to embryonic stem cell research. Three observations.
This has nothing to do with the separation of church and state. Religious leaders are perfectly free to bear moral witness on matters of public policy. Remember, again, that the civil rights movement was chock full of clergy, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The Rev. Dr. King spoke to segregation in explicitly Christian terms.
Doyle's response is disingenous. In response to the Bishop's letter, he says:
"The ultimate question isn't whether embryos will be destroyed, but whether we should allow a few of those unused embryos to be utilized saving lives instead of discarding them,"
But just six months ago, Doyle vetoed a ban on human cloning, citing all the money brought into the state by the NIH's National Stem Cell Bank.
This is all about economics. I am no scientist but my sense is that the science is moving in a way that makes adult stem cells just as robust as embryonic stem cells. To date, they have been far more effective in therapeutic settings (although, in fairness, ES research is relatively new.)Yet the UW owns important patents on embryonic stem cell processes. The National Stem Cell Bank was created to consolidate embryonic stem cell lines.