Missouri Democrats Endorse Human Cloning, Embryonic Research Initiative

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Democrats Endorse Human Cloning, Embryonic Research Initiative

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 6, 2006

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The Missouri Democratic Party has endorsed a ballot initiative that would promote embryonic stem cell research and human cloning for research purposes. The initiative’s backers are still awaiting word on whether it will officially qualify for voters to decide on this November.

The party heiarchy voted unanimously in favor of the measure and will encourage Democrats across the state to vote for it should it appear on the fall ballot.

According to an AP report, state party chairman Roger Wilson explained the vote in a written statement.

"We support this initiative because it offers new hope and opportunities to our family members, friends and neighbors who face the challenges of living with everything from Alzheimer’s to juvenile diabetes," Wilson explained.

However, a leading researcher has said that top scientists don’t hold out much hope for embryonic stem cell research treating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Marilyn Albert told the Associated Press previously, "I just think everybody feels there are higher priorities for seeking effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and for identifying preventive strategies."

Albert, a Johns Hopkins University researcher who chairs the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Association, says there are more promising efforts to treat the disease than waiting on the decades it could take to see results from embryonic stem cells.

Meanwhile, the Missouri Republican Party says it has no plans to take a position on the ballot proposal.

"We don’t typically endorse ballot measures. This is obviously an issue the voters of Missouri could decide," party spokesman Paul Sloca told AP.

Last month, the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures turned in 288,991 petition signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.

The Secretary of State has until August 8 to complete the process of verifying them.

Missourians Against Human Cloning tried to get the initiative thrown off the ballot or its wording changed because, although it claims to ban human cloning, the proposal includes support for human cloning for research purposes.

The summary of the proposition, which is what appears on the ballot, may deceive voters into thinking all forms of human cloning are prohibited. However, the Missouri Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a challenge by pro-life groups to the language of the initiative.

Related web sites:
Missourians Against Human Cloning – https://www.nocloning.org