Missouri Court Overturns Misleading Ballot Language on Human Cloning Ban

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Court Overturns Misleading Ballot Language on Human Cloning Ban Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 21
, 2008

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A state judge has overturned misleading ballot language Secretary of State Robin Carnahan wrote that would go before voters this November when they consider a state amendment to ban all human cloning. The group Cures Without Cloning is behind the proposal, which responds to the 2006 Amendment 2 measure allowing cloning.

Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled the language Carnahan wrote was “insufficient and unfair."

The measure would prohibit somatic cell nuclear transfer, a type of human cloning practice used by scientists to create and kill human beings for research purposes.

Carnahan released the ballot summary in October and the bioethics group said the language was biased because it accused the group of wanting to ban stem cell research, which is not the case.

She said the measure would "criminalize and impose civil penalties for some existing research, therapies and cures," but the judge struck that down. Instead, the measure will read that it seeks a ban on “human cloning that is conducted by creating a human embryo at any stage from the one-cell stage onward.”

Dr. Lori Buffa, the chair of Cures Without Cloning, told LifeNews.com the ruling justifies what the group has been saying about Carnahan’s language.

“This ruling proves what we’ve said along: that our clear, concise initiative would prohibit human cloning and the taxpayer funding of human cloning in Missouri," she said.

“We are pleased that the courts have upheld our challenge to Secretary of State Carnahan’s blatant attempt to mislead the Missouri voters with her inaccurate ballot summary," Dr. Buffa added.

“It is unfortunate that Ms. Carnahan’s actions have needlessly delayed the democratic process, but we are now prepared to move forward with our efforts to prohibit the cloning of human beings here in Missouri," she concluded.

Backers of the campaign worry that pro-cloning advocates will appeal the decision, if only to slow down the process of gathering signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

Once the ballot language is approved, backers will need 200,000 signatures to qualify it.

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 ballot proposal would not overturn last year’s amendment but it seeks to close the pro-cloning loophole found in it.

Related web sites:
Missouri Cures without Cloning Initiative Campaign – https://www.mocureswithoutcloning.com
Missouri Right to Life – https://www.missourilife.org
Missourians Against Human Cloning – https://www.nocloning.org