Missouri Embryonic Stem Cell Research Petition Drive Begins Soon

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 17, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Embryonic Stem Cell Research Petition Drive Begins Soon

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 17, 2005

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The Missouri Secretary of State’s office on Wednesday gave organizers of a petition in favor of embryonic stem cell research the go ahead. Now, petition supporters have until May 9 to collect 145,000 valid signatures in favor of the research, which relies on the destruction of human life.

If they get enough Missouri residents to sign on, the proposal will make it to the November 2006 ballot.

Donn Rubin, chairman of the so-called Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures told the Associated Press he won’t have a hard time getting volunteers to help with the effort.

"There are lots of patient groups representing all variety of diseases that could be cured by stem cell research, with lots of members who are interested in helping," he said.

The petition drive is a reaction to efforts by state lawmakers to restrict embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Pro-life groups had hoped to approve a bill that would have banned all forms of human cloning, including research-based cloning meant to create human embryos for the sole purpose of destruction for their stem cells.

Missouri Right to Life and the Missouri Catholic Conference oppose human cloning and embryonic stem cell research and are expected to discourage Missouri residents from signing the petitions. They’re upset that Republican Gov. Matt Blunt, who opposes abortion, is backing the petition effort.

Rubin’s group intends to have a training seminar next month to teach volunteers how to gather signatures.