NSW stem cell law passes

Despite opposition from the Church and a prayer campaign by Christian MPs, the NSW Upper House yesterday voted to pass a law lifting the ban on stem cell research in the state.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the ban was lifted after upper house MPs last night supported the controversial bill by 28 votes to 13.

The NSW legislation mirrors a law passed by Federal Parliament in December and is similar to a bill passed by Victoria's Parliament in May.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, reignited debate about the separation of church and state after he warned Catholic MPs who supported the bill that they "must realise that their voting has consequences for their place in the life of the church".

Despite the warning, a number of high-profile Catholic MPs, including the Premier, Morris Iemma, and his deputy, John Watkins, voted in favour of the bill in the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Iemma said he did not believe Cardinal Pell had overstepped the mark.

The Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, a Catholic, abstained from voting last night. Four cabinet members, Kristina Keneally, Graham West, Kevin Greene and Barbara Perry, voted against it in the lower house.

The law also passes despite Christian Democrat MPs Fred Nile and Gordon Moyes making an "urgent call to prayer" ahead of the vote.


SOURCE
Stem cell ban lifted (Sydney Morning Herald, 27/6/07)
Call for prayers to beat stem cell bill (The Age, 25/6/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Parliament of NSW
Archdiocese of Sydney
Stem cells (Wikipedia)
Christian Democratic Party, Fred Nile Group
GordonMoyes.com

ARCHIVE
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