by Steven Ertelt
August 22, 2007
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A coalition of concerned Missouri citizens, doctors, and academics have launched a new effort to combat the practice of human cloning. They are spearheading a new initiative to stop both reproductive and research-based cloning after state voters narrowly approved an amendment allowing both.
Amendment 2, backed by a narrow 50-49 margin, was supposed to prohibit human cloning and allow embryonic stem cell research, but a loophole in the language opened the door for scientists to clone human beings for the sole purpose of killing them.
The new "Cures Without Cloning" initiative filed proposed ballot language with the Secretary of State’s office this morning. The goal is to get it before voters on the November 2008 ballot.
Dr. Lori Buffa, a St. Peters-based pediatrician who is charwoman of the new group, sent a statement to LifeNews.com discussing the new effort.
"The Missouri Constitution currently allows for human cloning. It allows for the same cloning method that created Dolly the Sheep," she said. "This initiative will ensure this dangerous, unproven, unnecessary practice is prohibited, and allow us to focus on safe research that leads to lifesaving cures and treatments."
The initiative would amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit the practice of human cloning, and would prohibit taxpayer funding of human cloning experiments.
Once the ballot language is approved, backers will need 200,000 signatures to qualify it.
"As a doctor, I have grave concerns about experimentation with human cloning," Buffa said. "We should continue to search for cures and treatments using stem cell research. And we should embrace the exciting promise of cures and treatments that proven, safe research can bring — and we should do so by resoundingly rejecting the practice of human cloning."
The ballot proposal would not overturn last year’s amendment but it seeks to close the pro-cloning loophole found in it.
A spokeswoman for the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, founded almost entirely by the Stowers Institute, which does embryonic stem cell research, did not have a comment yet on the ballot proposal.