Missouri Legal Battle Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding in October
by Steven Ertelt
August 12, 2008
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A legal battle pro-life advocates have pressed against making taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research will likely come to a head in October. That’s when a state judge will decide whether to block $21 million in public funds from going to the Life Sciences Research Board for the controversial science.
Last month, a Cole County judge denied a request from pro-life advocates to temporarily stop the funds from going to the board for 15 days.
The board plans to disburse the funds early next year for the stem cell research grants it is considering funding. Pro-life groups don’t want to see money go to scientists who are destroying human beings in research that kills them for their stem cells.
According to an AP report, the next hearing in the legal battle is set for October 20.
The group Missouri Roundtable for Life initially filed the lawsuit in June and pro-life attorney Ed Martin said the Amendment 2 that state voters narrowly adopted in 2006 makes it difficult to know if any limits can be put in place on where public funds go and if they can be used for embryonic stem cell research.
The organization says it wants to protect public funds from being spent in ways that conflict with existing Missouri law and with the will of the Missouri legislature.
We are asking the Court to answer two very simple questions," Fred N. Sauer, a founder of the Missouri Roundtable for Life and a plaintiff in the case, explains.
First, do the prohibitions on the use of public funds for abortion services, human cloning, and prohibited human research that are part of the Life Sciences Trust Fund law still apply after the voters passed Amendment 2 in 2006?" he asked.
"And, second, does Amendment 2 limit the appropriation authority of the legislature by requiring that any institution that does certain research never have its state appropriation reduced in subsequent years? he added.
The Life Sciences Trust fund includes specific funding prohibitions imposed by law at its formation in 2003; specifically, there are prohibitions against the use of public funds from the Fund for abortion services, human cloning, and prohibited human research.
Missouri taxpayers need to know if these prohibitions remain in force or if they have been changed in any way, the group says.
Related web sites:
Missouri Roundtable for Life – https://www.moroundtable.org
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