by Steven Ertelt
September 12, 2006
Kansas City, MO(LifeNews.com) — Several hundred pro-life advocates rallied at a church in Kansas City on Monday night against Amendment 2 — the initiative on the November ballot that would have the state backing human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
Similar to the previous rallies, which have also featured a crowd in the hundreds, former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and minister Rick Scarborough rallied those attending.
Rev. Robert Finn, bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese, also attended and, according to the Kansas City Star, called both practices the “the wholesale manufacture and destruction of human life.”
Scarborough encouraged the audience to get involved in the fight to stop the amendment and to educate friends and neighbors about it. He said they shouldn’t be worried about the tens of millions of dollars the other side is spending and how the media portrays the fight as an uphill battle.
“They say this is a David-and-Goliath campaign,” Scarborough said, according to the Star. “Remember — David won.”
The rally was the fourth in a series of five, although more may be held. Previous rallies have had hundreds of attendees and been larger than an event sponsored by backers of the human cloning proposal held in Jefferson City where just 100 people attended.
Opponents of the initiative have complained that backers don’t represent grassroots Missouri residents as the group heading up the initiative has received more than $16 million from a stem cell research firm, the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, that stands to gain from the referendum passing.
The chief executive officer of the institute, Dr. Bill Neaves, told the Southeast Missourian that opponents of Amendment 2 were lying about Stowers.
The amendment would prevent lawmakers from proposing any bans on embryonic stem cell research of taxpayer funding of it and would allow human cloning for research purposes.
Missourians Against Human Cloning, supported by the Missouri Catholic Conference, the Missouri Baptist Convention and Missouri Right to Life, is leading the opposition to the amendment.
Shao-Chun Chang, a professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, told 850 people at a rally against the amendment earlier this month that adult stem cell research shows considerably more promise than the use of embryonic stem cells.
Chang said supporters of the proposal are overstating the possibility that embryonic stem cells will cure diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and other life-threatening ailments.
Other leading scientists agree the measure presents concerns that Missouri voters need to consider.
"As much as proponents may deny it, this initiative would create a constitutional right to human cloning in Missouri," explained Robert Onder of the Washington University School of Medicine. "In other words, the initiative would create a right to clone and kill human embryos, and it would require all of us to pay for it."
Adrienne Hynek, Respect Life director of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, says voters should oppose the amendment because "this initiative still allows cloning embryos as long as you kill a cloned embryo within 14 days of creating it."
Opponents of the proposal have also said that human cloning will end up exploiting women and that the process used to collect eggs for cloning is medically dangerous.