Missouri Human Cloning Ban Stuck After Lt. Gov Candidate Waffles

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 5, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Human Cloning Ban Stuck After Lt. Gov Candidate Waffles

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
March 5, 2004

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Since the first week of the current legislative session, a Missouri bill to ban human cloning has been stuck in the state Senate Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday, the committee voted again to defer action on SB 765.

Last week the committee voted 4-4 on the legislation. Senate President Pro-Tem Peter Kinder (R-Cape Girardeau), candidate for Lieutenant Governor, refused to enter the committee meeting to cast his vote, according the Missouri Catholic Conference. His inaction blocked the bill’s passage then, but he has now announced he will vote against the ban in future votes.

"Sen. Kinder has repeatedly stated in his support for pro-life issues in public, but as the opportunities have presented themselves to prove it this session, his inaction and change of heart have been the deciding vote toward the defeat of the ban on human cloning," said Deacon Larry Weber, Executive Director of the Missouri Catholic Conference. "This action is very disturbing for someone who has held himself out to voters as a pro-life candidate."

The Missouri Catholic Conference also decried the changing position of another Catholic on the Senate Committee, Senator Anita Yeckel (R-Sunset Hills) who voted against the ban.

Earlier, Sen. Yeckel pledged her support of the ban after hundreds of calls, emails, letters, and even a meeting with the Missouri Catholic Conference’s Public Policy Committee.

"When the time came to cast her vote yesterday, she once again changed her mind and withdrew her support for the bill by asking for additional time to consider whether or not to support the measure," stated a release from the Catholic Conference dated Wednesday.

"The Church always wants us to conform without question. I do most times, but I had this question because I was forced to look at it (cloning) much closer than the average person, said Sen. Yeckel when asked about the Catholic Church’s stance on human cloning. "I know the Church has taken that stand (against human cloning), but the Church isn’t always right."

"I’ve been thinking I feel I’m causing so much harm. I feel I have to resolve it. I’ve never done anything like this. I have the fear of stopping something good," said Yeckel, who admitted that the human cloning issue has been the most confusing one she’s encountered as a Senator.

"It is extremely disturbing to watch the influence of a well-funded and powerful political lobby cause legislators to make decisions focused less on the sanctity of human life and the values of their constituents and more on the opinions of future campaign contributors," said Deacon Weber.

The Missouri Catholic Conference said it will continue to urge legislators to pass the cloning ban, "including so-called ‘therapeutic cloning’ which kills a human embryo for medical or research purposes."

Related Sites:

Missouri Judiciary Committee – https://www.senate.state.mo.us/04info/comm/judi.htm
Missouri Catholic Conference – https://www.mocatholic.org