Missouri Pro-Lifers Oppose Bill That Could Fund Destructive Research

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Pro-Lifers Oppose Bill That Could Fund Destructive Research

by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 5, 2004

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life leaders in Missouri fear a proposed multi-million-dollar bond package could finance the construction of research facilities hostile to human life.

Missouri Right to Life President Pam Fichter and general counsel Jim Cole have sent a letter to state senators, suggesting that the bond proposal could fund facilities that would be used for cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and other research that harms human life.

While the pro-life organization does not ordinarily get involved in campus construction projects, it strongly opposes any form of scientific research that results in the killing of human embryos.

The letter states, "Missouri Right to Life opposes the Senate bill as it is now written in the strongest terms and to the utmost of its energies."

"Missouri Right to Life considers the vote on final approval of the Senate bill as one of the most important votes on a life issue that any senator will ever cast."

The Missouri Senate has already given preliminary approval for the proposed $372 million bond sale for capital improvements at Missouri colleges and universities.

The bill’s sponsor, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder (R-Cape Girardeau) told the Southeastern Missourian newspaper that he was surprised by the pro-life group’s opposition to the bill.

"After championing pro-life causes during my entire 12 years in the Senate, I didn’t see this coming," Kinder told the newspaper.

However, the bitter debate over biotechnology is now one of the biggest pro-life issues in the nation. The well-funded biotech industry has been engaging in heavy lobbying in state legislatures throughout the U.S., trying to win support for research involving cloning and embryonic stem cells.

Both kinds of research can lead to the destruction of tiny human beings.

Supporters of cloning and embryonic stem cell research portray their campaign as being pro-science and pro-health. They claim that these controversial scientific techniques represent a new frontier in research and that the questionable methods could lead to cures for everything from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease.

But a number of scientific researchers note that cloning and embryonic stem cell research represent poor science and perverse ethics.

For instance, Do No Harm, a coalition made up of researchers from some of the nation’s leading universities, notes that such research is unnecessary, unethical, and even dangerous.

The group points out that initial studies involving embryonic stem cells have proven disastrous, and that adult stem cell research, which does not involve the killing of embryos, appears to be far more likely to lead to cures.

Kinder conceded that Missouri Right to Life’s opposition could cause problems for the campus construction bill. Time is also not on Kinder’s side, since the legislative session is scheduled to end May 14. As a result, the legislature could recess before the bill has a chance of winning final passage.

In a press release, Kinder said, "This is a major step forward to create jobs and strengthen Missouri’s economic recovery. It will help strengthen our state’s manufacturing base with a new knowledge and research-based sector."

However, pro-life advocates note that the biotech industry routinely tries to sell states on the idea of creating jobs, while failing to note that cloning and embryonic stem cell research are unlikely to yield the miraculous results that backers promise.

Related web sites:
Missouri Right to Life – https://www.missourilife.org
Do No Harm – https://www.stemcellresearch.org
Missouri Senate – https://www.senate.state.mo.us