by Cathy Ruse
November 4, 2006
LifeNews.com Note: Cathy Ruse is a spokesperson for Missourians Against Human Cloning.
Constitutional Amendment 2 is a fraud. It purports to ban human cloning, but the fine print actually creates a constitutional right to human cloning. It purports to ban the purchase and sale of human eggs, but the fine print actually gives a constitutional safe haven to human egg trafficking.
It purports to keep its hands out of taxpayers’ pockets, but the fine print actually puts biotech special interests above the law and gives them constitutional arguments for public funding.
The first big deception involves human cloning.
Page one appears to ban human cloning, but deep in this 2,000-word amendment is a provision giving biotech firms the constitutional right to conduct "somatic cell nuclear transfer." That’s the scientific term for cloning, the same method used to clone Dolly the sheep.
But don’t take our word for it.
The National Institutes of Health says, "somatic cell nuclear transfer is the scientific term for cloning." And the Food and Drug Administration explains how a Scottish scientist "successfully used a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to create a clone of a sheep."
The second deception involves human egg harvesting.
Page one appears to ban the purchase and sale of human eggs for research. But page five contains a lengthy provision taking all meaning out of those words. It gives fertility clinics the right to pay thousands of dollars for the "donation" of human eggs, a procedure that can be painful and can lead to kidney failure, stroke and even death. That’s a constitutional stamp of approval for the predatory ads in college papers and elsewhere that entice young women to put their health at risk for cash.
Then it gives biotech firms the right to pay clinics thousands of dollars for those eggs in "reimbursement" for the cost. That’s a safe haven for trafficking in human eggs, courtesy of the Missouri constitution.
Last week, a panel at the United Nations agreed that "attempts at somatic cell nuclear transfer would create dangerous new demand for more eggs, and in turn for applying pressure on women to ‘donate.’ "
Amendment 2 would authorize the exploitation of women in Missouri.
(Last year, the United Nations passed a declaration condemning all forms of human cloning, including the form allowed under Amendment 2.)
The third deception involves taxpayer dollars.
Proponents of Amendment 2 say it will cost the taxpayer nothing, but page five says "all government actions" must "be construed in favor of" anyone who does nuclear transfer research. Because funding decisions are part of "all government actions," biotech lawyers could argue that funding that doesn’t go their way violates the state constitution.
Worse still, Amendment 2 says the people of Missouri will have no right to take any action that might "discourage" or "create disincentives" for cloning researchers. That puts cloning researchers above the law and beyond the reach of even the most basic, sensible measures of accountability.
Many people don’t realize that embryonic stem cell research already is legal and being done at the University of Missouri at Columbia, at Washington University in St. Louis and elsewhere. Amendment 2 will not change that fact. But it will change the constitution to make cloning and human egg trafficking a constitutional right and place cloning researchers above the law.
Missourians should vote NO on Amendment 2.