2008 Michigan Proposal 2

Michigan Proposal 08-2 was a proposal to amend the Michigan Constitution to remove restrictions on stem cell research in Michigan while maintaining the ban on human cloning. Opponents argued that it would raise taxes. The proposal was passed on November 4, 2008 by voters by a 53 - 47% margin.[1]


The proposal appeared on the ballot as follows:[2]

A proposal to amend the state constitution to address human embryo and human embryonic stem cell research in Michigan.

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Expand use of human embryos for any research permitted under federal law subject to the following limits: the embryos —
    • are created for fertility treatment purposes;
    • are not suitable for implantation or are in excess of clinical needs;
    • would be discarded unless used for research;
    • were donated by the person seeking fertility treatment.
  • Provide that stem cells cannot be taken from human embryos more than 14 days after cell division begins.
  • Prohibit any person from selling or purchasing human embryos for stem cell research.
  • Prohibit state and local laws that prevent,restrict or discourage stem cell research, future therapies and cures.


In October, former President Bill Clinton came to Michigan to speak in favor of adopting Proposal 2.[3] The Michigan State Medical Society took a neutral position on the ballot measure.[4]


In March 2009, TechTown announced the opening of a stem cell research lab in Detroit.[5] However, the opening was delayed because TechTown had trouble getting funds and State Senator Thomas George attempted to the weaken the amendment with legislation he introduced.[6]


  1. ^ "ELECTION 2008: Michigan Votes To Expand Embryonic Stem Cell Research". National Partnership for Women and Families: Women's Health Policy Report. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Statewide Ballot Proposals 2008" (PDF). macombcountymi.gov. Macomb County. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2008-10-19. from Macomb County website
  3. ^ "President Clinton stumps for stem cells in Mich". mlive. Archived from the original on 2022-02-22. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  4. ^ Johnson, Adrian (19 October 2008). "Vote 'no' on embryonic stem cell proposal". mlive. Archived from the original on 2022-02-22. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Wayne County partners with TechTown to launch global stem cell "innovation and commercialization lab" - Today@Wayne". Wayne State University. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  6. ^ Zaworowski, Tom (July 15–21, 2009). "Lack of funding, politics stifle stem cell research facility plans". The South End. p. 1. State Sen. Thomas George, R-Kalamazoo, has introduced a six-bill package that could undermine the initiative and restrict the use of embryos created in fertility clinics for stem cell research.

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