by Steven Ertelt
October 11, 2005
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A coalition of Missouri groups that support embryonic stem cell research proposed an initiative Tuesday for the next election that would protect the ability of scientists to engage in the unproven research. Pro-life groups oppose the research because it involves the destruction of human life and they point out adult stem cells have been more effective.
Backers of the constitutional amendment must get at least 139,181 petition signatures from voters to qualify it for the November 2006 ballot. A majority of voters would then need to sign off on it.
Coalition chairman Donn Rubin told the Associated Press that the effort was necessary because pro-life groups want to "criminalize some of the most promising types of stem cell research."
The language of the proposal declares that any stem cell research and cures available under federal law would be available in Missouri. That would prevent pro-life groups from restricting the research any further in the state, as they have been trying to do in the state legislature.
Missouri Right to Life predicted the amendment would be defeated if it reaches the November 2006 ballot.
"The biotech industry is seeking to minimize human life for economic purposes,” Missouri Right to Life Lobbyist Susan Klein told AP. "They’re trying to redefine when life begins.”
A bill to prohibit embryonic stem cell research stalled in the state Senate without getting a vote.
The coalition, called the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, includes medical centers at the University of Missouri and Washington University and organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the Parkinson’s Action Network.
Related web sites:
Missouri Right to Life – https://www.missourilife.org