Misleading Missouri Measure Would Launch Human Cloning in U.S.

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 16, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Misleading Missouri Measure Would Launch Human Cloning in U.S. Email this article
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by Robert Novak
October 16, 2006

LifeNews.com: Robert Novak is a longtime nationally syndicated columnist and the host and guest on numerous television shows devoted to public policy.

A new video available on YouTube marks a late attempt by pro-life forces to avert serious defeat in Missouri Nov. 7, with national implications.

Cathy Ruse, speaking for Missourians Against Human Cloning, declares: "Amendment 2 is a fraud. It is an attempt to trick Missourians into approving — in their Constitution — human cloning, the right of biotech firms to do human cloning in Missouri — something Missourians oppose by an overwhelming majority."

But Amendment 2 is identified for many Missouri voters by the language at the beginning of the five-page, 2,000-word ballot initiative: "No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being." That explains why polls have shown a substantial margin of support for the constitutional amendment, also backed by key Republican politicians and business interests. It seems to offer the best of all worlds: government support of stem cell research without fear of cloning.

The problem is that the proposal so narrowly defines cloning as to open the door in Missouri to any cloning procedure that takes place outside the womb. If this is approved by a state that historically is a barometer of national trends and is considered a pro-life stronghold, it will be a national model for breaking popular resistance to what the scientists and biotech companies want.

A campaign costing an estimated $20 million has helped build a substantial lead for the amendment. A September poll by the Republican firm McLaughlin & Associates shows a 59 percent to 31 percent advantage. Democrats appear to have no doubt, favoring it 75 to 22, with only 3 percent undecided. But Republicans are split, 40 percent in support and 45 against, with 15 percent undecided.

Big Republican names — former Sen. John Danforth, Gov. Matt Blunt and party contributor Sam Fox — support the amendment. The $2 billion-endowed Stowers Institute in Kansas City, funded by GOP benefactors, spearheads the campaign.

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