Missouri Backers of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Proposal Spend Heavily

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 18, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Backers of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Proposal Spend Heavily

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 18, 2006

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Backers of an initiative that will likely appear on the November ballot to promote embryonic stem cell research and human cloning are spending heavily on their campaign to get it approved. New reports released Monday reveal the campaign has raised and spent millions.

New campaign finance reports reveal the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures raised more than $2.5 million in the last three months to promote the initiative and spend $2.2 million to persuade voters to back it.

In total, the group has raised almost $7 million and spent more than $6 million since beginning its campaign to promote the destructive research and human cloning. According to a St. Louis Post Dispatch report, the group still has $650,000 in the bank.

Though the campaign finance reports make it appear the group is getting large donations from tens of thousands of Missouri residents, the bulk of its money is coming from large donors who have a financial interest in the initiative succeeding.

James and Virginia Stowers, of Kansas City, the namesake of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, which backs the proposal, donated more than $1.5 million of the $2.5 million raised in the last three months.

In total, the Stowers family has donated $3.37 million — nearly half of all of the funds the group has raised for their campaign.

The proposal itself has been tied up in court battles because it claims to ban human cloning. In reality it will prohibit human cloning for reproductive purposes but allow it for research.

Pro-life advocates are planning to appeal a Missouri appeals court’s decision overturning its argument that the proposal is misleading.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life law firm, filed papers last week with the Missouri Court of Appeals for a review of the decision.

“Election ballots should be neutral and not be designed to intentionally mislead voters,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Kevin Theriot. "The voters deserve to know that the proposed ballot initiative would create a constitutional right to treat human life as a commodity and raw material for unethical human experimentation.”

The appeals court in March ruled that the ballot language should remain as is despite the deceptive language. The ruling said state law requires the wording to be clear and concise but not necessarily the best possible wording.

"The people of Missouri must not be duped into supporting the deceptive initiative," Nikolas Nikas, president and general counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund, told LifeNews.com.

Nikas added, "Notwithstanding the Court of Appeals’ 2-1 decision, Missouri voters need to know that this initiative creates a constitutional right to clone human lives to destroy them for experimentation."

Related web sites:
Application for rehearing – https://www.telladf.org/UserDocs/MAHCappealapp.pdf
Missourians Against Human Cloning – https://www.nocloning.org
Missouri Appeals Court – https://www.courts.mo.gov