By Don C. Reed

The Family Research Council (FRC) is perhaps the most powerful lobbying group of the Religious Right. Massively funded, The FRC uses its multi-million dollar annual budget to campaign against environmentalism, gay rights, women’s reproductive freedoms, taxation (especially taxation!) and embryonic stem cell research.

The Family Research Council also pays the salary of Dr. David Prentice, famous for his endless propaganda against embryonic stem cell research.

And it just attacked the honor of my paralyzed son.

This from the FRC’s April 4, 2011 action alert.

“FRC Action Alert: CA:…Legislation: AB 190—would impose an added penalty of $3 for traffic violations TO BE GIVEN TO THE ROMAN REED SPINAL CORD INJURY FOUNDATION…(emphasis added).

They then went on to cite a lengthy piece from another Religious Right group ( attacking embryonic stem cell research, the California stem cell program and much else.

Most of that is pure opinion, to which they have a right.

But to imply that AB 190—a state law– would benefit my son’s private foundation?

The Roman Reed Foundation itself is quite real; it is a 501 c-3 foundation, putting on sporting events to raise funds for paralysis research. For example, it recently put on a golf tournament to benefit Stanford’s spinal cord program.

But neither Roman nor his foundation have any financial connection to Assembly Bill 190.

AB 190 would continue the funding of a highly-respected state program, developed by a California law called the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999. Twice renewed by near-unanimous votes of the state legislature, the program is administered by the University of California (UC) system.

AB 190 specifically states:

“…Existing law authorizes the University of California to establish a spinal cord injury research fund, independent of the State Treasury, to accept public and private funds for spinal cord injury research programs and grants. This bill would impose an additional penalty of $3 to be imposed upon every conviction for a violation of state and local traffic laws, as specified, except for offenses related to parking. The bill would require the penalty to be deposited with the county treasurer and distributed each month for transfer to the spinal cord injury research fund created within the University of California.”

The words “Roman Reed Foundation” do not even occur in the text.

If they simply made a mistake, the FRC should issue a public retraction.

Otherwise, it seems to me they are guilty of perpetuating a deliberate misrepresentation of Assembly Bill 190, a gross and damaging falsehood about the Roman Reed Foundation, and a scurrilous attack on the honor of my son.

It is not clear to me if the Family Research Council made the attack first, or

Below is a copy of my response to, which spread the false statement widely.


I am the father of Roman Reed, the paralyzed young man who inspired the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, twice renewed by the California legislature.

Your article contains a significant error, which you should correct.
You state that: “Funds acquired by AB 190 will be used by the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Foundation.”

That is false. The Roman Reed Foundation will not receive any funds from Assembly Bill 190. The Roman Reed Foundation is a private foundation which raises funds for paralysis cure research by putting on sports events.

Your differences are with California’s decade-long spinal cord injury research program, which was established by the law my son inspired. If you want to argue with California’s stance on stem cell research, that is your right.

But to state that public funds will be used by a private foundation is a serious charge, and potentially defamatory.

Please correct your error.

Thank you,

Don C. Reed

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This