Missouri Stem Cell Research Company Buying State Cloning Initiative

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 17, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Stem Cell Research Company Buying State Cloning Initiative Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 17
, 2006

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — New campaign finance reports in Missouri show that pro-life advocates have alleged all along — an embryonic stem cell research company is spending tens of millions of dollars in an effort to buy public support for a statewide initiative that would have the state backing human cloning.

The Stowers Institute is Kansas City has raised and spent almost $28.75 million dollars according to new state campaign finance reports. That dwarfs the approximately $1.5 million pro-life advocates have spent attempting to defeat the cloning proposal.

Just 500 people have contributed any money to the Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, the Stowers-financed organization that backs Amendment 2.

As a result, about 97 percent of the group’s funding has come from just two people — Jim and Virginia Stowers, founders of the Stowers Institute, which stands to gain financially if the measure is approved. They are the founders of American Century mutual funds.

Jaci Winship, of the group Missourians Against Human Cloning, told the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper that the Stowers have made a mockery of the state’s political process and she worries their money will drown out the public debate over human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.

"It’s not a broad-based citizens’ initiative," she said.

Winship’s group has raised just $500,000 to defeat the human cloning proposal while two other pro-life groups, the Life Communications Fund and the Missouri Roundtable for Life, have raised about $1 million together.

Still, Winship told the newspaper that she thinks pro-life advocates can prevail despite being outspent by a greater than 10 to 1 margin.

However, the latest Survey USA poll indicates that Amendment 2 has more support today Missouri voters than it did than a month ago. The poll has Amendment 2 passing by a 57 to 27 percentage vote.

That’s an expansion in support from the last Survey USA poll the firm conducted in September, which showed state residents backing the initiative by a 52-24 percent margin. That means support for the human cloning plan has increased by five percent while opposition has gone up three percent.

As voters have learned more about the measure, the number not certain how they will vote has dropped 8 points, to 16% of the likely voters.

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