by Steven Ertelt
July 11, 2006
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Opponents of embryonic stem cell research in Missouri are organizing to counter the multimillion dollar effort there in favor of a ballot proposal that would have the state endorsing the destructive research. One component of their campaign is educating voters that the measure supports human cloning.
To help the cause, the Knights of Columbus has donated $200,000 to an effort to educate Missouri residents about the complexities of stem cell research.
Some of the money will pay for television commercials prepared by the Vitae Caring Foundation, which also produces pro-life spots against abortion. The ads have already started appearing in the St. Louis area.
The ads will explain the difference between adult and embryonic stem cell research and the latter’s connection with the human cloning process called somatic cell nuclear transfer.
"Experimenting on and cloning human embryos is unethical," Knights spokesman Carl Anderson said in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.
"The notion of amending Missouri’s constitution to protect the unethical use of human embryos for experimentation is reprehensible, and is made worse by the fact that the amendment, which runs nearly 2,000 words, is complex, not easily understood and often misleading," he added.
However, the donation and the money pro-life advocates are raising to defeat the measure is paltry compared to the $10 million the Missouri Coalition of Lifesaving Cures has already raised and spent for its campaign.
Donn Rubin, chairman of the group, dismissed the campaign as an attempt to confuse voters.
"They are inventing problems and using scare tactics to mislead voters and distract from what the cures initiative does," Rubin said.
"We want to educate people," Adrienne Hynek, Respect Life director of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, told the Kansas City Star newspaper about the upcoming educational campaign. "If people know the truth about this, they will oppose it."
"People will read it and say, ‘Of course I want to ban human cloning’ and want to vote for it," Hynek said. "But this initiative still allows cloning embryos as long as you kill a cloned embryo within 14 days of creating it."
The human cloning initiative has not yet been certified for the ballot, but the secretary of state’s office has until August 8 to determine that enough signatures were turned in for it to qualify.