by Steven Ertelt
September 4, 2007
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — The Missouri group that is spearheading an effort to ban all forms of human cloning in the state has modified the language it hopes to get before voters next November. The group Cures Without Cloning says it has filed amended language with the Missouri Secretary of State.
The group hopes to get state voters to agree to ban human cloning for both reproductive and research purposes and to prohibit any taxpayer funding of those practices.
The proposal’s initial language said that human life begins when an egg receives a "complete set of 46 chromosomes and continues through any subsequent stages of embryonic, fetal, postnatal and later development."
But cloning supporters said the definition does not include people with genetic disorders such as own, Turner or Klinefelter syndromes as those people have 45 or 47 chromosomes, depending on the condition.
The proposed new language for the proposal removes the reference linking an egg with 46 chromosomes to human life.
Curt Mercadante, spokesperson for Cures Without Cloning, told the Associated Press that the new language make the proposal more straightforward and easier to understand.
Colleen Carroll Campbell, a fellow at the St. Louis-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, also explained in an editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the revised language would allow Missouri to follow other states.
It "simply would allow Missouri to join other states that have banned human cloning by defining it the way most medical and scientific journals, and popular publications do: as the creation of a cloned human embryo," she said.
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.
Dr. Lori Buffa, a St. Peters-based pediatrician who is charwoman of the new group, previously told LifeNews.com, "The Missouri Constitution currently allows for human cloning. It allows for the same cloning method that created Dolly the Sheep.
"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," she added.
Once the ballot language is approved, backers will need 200,000 signatures to qualify it.
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.