by Steven Ertelt
February 27, 2006
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life and religious groups, joined by state lawmakers, have kicked off their campaign against a ballot initiative this fall that would promote embryonic stem cell research and some forms of human cloning.
Officials with the ad-hoc group Missourians Against Human Cloning conducted a fly around on Monday to appear at numerous rallies and press conference spreading the message that the practices are morally and ethically wrong.
Rep. Jim Lembke, a Republican lawmaker, is one of the leaders of the group opposing the November ballot proposal.
"I don’t think we should be creating jobs on the backs of human embryos," he said, according to a St. Louis Post Dispatch report.
Lembke said the proposal was more about "cash, not cures" for patients suffering from various diseases. While adult stem cell research has already produced dozens of treatments and cures for various conditions, embryonic stem cell research has yet to help a single patient.
The controversial research isn’t likely to help anyone anytime soon because South Korean studies supposedly showing success in overcoming rejection issues were found to be completely fabricated.
Jaci Winship, executive director of Missourians Against Human Cloning, accused backers of the ballot proposal of misleading Missouri residents.
The proposal says it bans human cloning, but actually prohibits just reproductive human cloning. It would allow human cloning to create massive amounts of days-old unborn children to be destroyed for experiments and research.
The Missouri Coalition for Life Saving Cures, which is a collection of some politicians and business groups, is still at work collecting enough signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.
The group has already raised and spent $4 million for the ballot initiative and observers say that number could reach $15 million by November.
Sam Lee, head of Campaign Life Missouri, a pro-life group, told the St. Louis newspaper that he expected pro-life groups to band together to fight the proposal. He said he expected Catholic, Baptist and Lutheran organizations to join together as well against it.
Lembke and two doctors who oppose embryonic stem cell research participated in the fly around.