April 21, 2009

Pro-Life Lawmakers Rap Chambers

Our friend Stephen Moore has pointed out that, perhaps counterintuitively, chambers of commerce are oftentimes liberalism's echo chambers. Just this afternoon on Twitter I learned from Tim Carney that the number-one lobbying entity for the first quarter of 2009 was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent a lot of money backing the "stimulus" package (among other things).

Also today, the willingness of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa chambers to sacrifice human life in the pursuit of "research dollars" has angered some pro-life lawmakers:
The Oklahoma City and Tulsa chambers of commerce support for embryonic stem cell research, which requires the killing of human embryos, will damage Oklahoma’s reputation as a state that values life, state Rep. Pam Peterson said today.

"The chambers' support of embryonic stem cell research as an 'economic growth' tool is a shocking violation of the public trust and basic moral values," said Peterson, R-Tulsa. "The chamber is effectively advocating the worst kind of discrimination based on age, size, and place of residence."

In the past week, both chambers have urged Gov. Brad Henry to veto legislation that would make embryonic stem cell research illegal in Oklahoma. Both groups argue the ban will hinder economic development, be an embarrassment for the state, and make it hard to attract "researchers."

"The idea that Oklahoma should condone the destruction of innocent human life in the name of 'economic development' is indefensible," Peterson said. "Our law clearly states that human life begins at conception. Now the chambers are advocating the destruction of a legally recognized life in exchange for research dollars, saying the state should determine the best use of a person's life for the state's purposes. That's a huge paradigm shift that runs contrary to the basic values of our nation." ...

As a result of the chamber's call for vetoing the embryonic stem cell ban, Peterson and other pro-life lawmakers will not attend a legislative event tonight jointly hosted by the Oklahoma City and Tulsa chambers.