Missouri Voters Can Sign Petitions to Vote on Abortion, Stem Cell Research in 2010

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Voters Can Sign Petitions to Vote on Abortion, Stem Cell Research in 2010

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 20
, 2009

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — With approval from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office this week, pro-life advocates who are supporting ballot measures on abortion and stem cell research can move ahead to gather signatures. They need signatures from enough state residents to be able to get the amendments on the 2010 ballot.

The first initiative, called the Missouri Taxpayer Protection Amendment, is submitted by a pro-life group named Missouri Roundtable For Life.

The amendment would stop the state from using taxpayer dollars to finance abortion and human cloning.

It "protects Missourian’s hard-earned tax dollars" from being used for abortions not medically necessary to save the life of the mother, abortion services, human cloning and other controversial human research."

The second petition, filed by Gregory Thompson, would change the constitutional definition of “person” to be “from the beginning of biological development.”

The personhood amendment would likely challenge Roe v. Wade and make abortion and bioethics practices like human cloning and embryonic stem cell research illegal. It would almost certainly be challenged by abortion advocates in court.

Thompson is a former school superintendent who was the Constitution Party’s nominee for governor in 2008.

Missouri Roundtable For Life director Todd Jones told LifeNews.com in September about its bioethics amendment.

“This amendment, which is a modified version of the Taxpayer Protection Amendment we filed late last year and litigated with Secretary of State Robin Carnahan over her highly prejudicial ballot language," he said. "[It] would simply clarify what Missourians already believe to be true: that tax dollars should never be spent for [those practices]."

“During these tough economic times, Missourians have every right to protect their hard-earned tax dollars from being diverted to controversial research instead of legitimate medical research and essential state services," Jones continued.

"The Missouri Taxpayer Protection Amendment has the added bonus of protecting Missouri’s majority passed pro-life laws from any changes in federal law during the current debates on nationalized healthcare," he told LifeNews.com.

The initiative uses the same language from the 2003 Life Sciences Research Trust Fund law that was passed almost unanimously by both chambers of the Missouri legislature and signed by Governor Holden.

Drafted carefully under the guidance of the late Richard Byrd, state representative and House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Jones says the 2003 law was clear that tax dollars must not be used for abortion services, cloning or other human experimentation.

In the years since 2003, some changes in Missouri law and public policy have made it so that these protections of Missouri tax dollars no longer apply, he indicated.

The personhood amendment is similar to ones that have been filed in other states. Thus far, only voters in Colorado have voted on an amendment and they rejected it by a 3-1 margin.

Even pro-life advocates voted against the personhood amendment because they were concerned that it would be declared unconstitutional and add to the pro-Roe v. Wade case law supporting abortions.

Related web sites:
Missouri Roundtable For Life – https://www.moroundtable.org

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