Missouri’s MOSIRA Funding Embryonic Research is Unconstitutional

Bioethics   Steven Ertelt   Feb 22, 2012   |   2:18PM   

A Judge Daniel Green in the Cole County Circuit Court ruled Monday evening that the MOSIRA (Missouri Science Innovation and Reinvestment Act) that allows for embryonic stem cell research and human cloning funding is unconstitutional.

Missouri Roundtable, Missouri Right to Life, Citizens of Missouri and Lawyers for Life filed suit against the MOSIRA legislation and Pam Fichter, President of Missouri Right to Life, applauded the ruling.

“Our suit was based on the language in SB 7 that clearly states that MOSIRA does not go into effect without the passage on SB 8, known as the Aerotropolis bill,” she explained. “Since SB 8 did not pass during the extraordinary special session, MOSIRA should not and could not go into effect.  In spite of this language, Governor Nixon signed SB 7 and has taken steps to implement it.”

In addition to ruling that the MOSIRA bill is unconstitutional, specifically Article III, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution (Single Subject Rule), Judge Green permanently enjoined the State of Missouri from taking any action, including using public funds to implement the MOSIRA bill and he ordered the State of Missouri to rescind all actions taken to implement the MOSIRA bill.

“Missouri Right to Life is very thankful for this decision,” Fichter told LifeNews. “While we know, the nature of the successful lawsuit was one of constitutionality, Missouri Right to Life is committed to standing against the destruction of innocent human lives through human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.”

She continued, “Monies in the MOSIRA fund would only be restrained by the language of MOSIRA. The MOSIRA fund, as passed in SB 7, had no pro-life protective language on it to prevent funds from being used for abortion services, human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.  Missouri Right to Life will continue to monitor any attempts to pass MOSIRA again without pro-life protections.”

Donn Rubin, president of biotech trade group BioSTL, told the St.Louis newspaper the decision is “disappointing,” saying “What’s frustrating is that something that is so broadly supported gets caught up in unrelated struggles over other issues like tax credit reform.”

But Fred Sauer, of the Missouri Roundtable, said, “We are dedicated to ensuring that Missouri citizens understand all the details of the MOSIRA scheme, so that politicians and their special interest cronies will never try this again.”

MOSIRA, The Missouri Science Innovation and Reinvestment Act, was designed to set up a fund, channeled through the state budget, to be administered by the pro-cloning Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC), to provide state money and/or tax incentives for new technology businesses, including those engaged in human life science research.

The Missouri legislature refused to attached protective language to MOSIRA that would have prevented Missouri taxpayer dollars from going to abortion, human cloning, and embryo experimentation. Thus taxpayer dollars distributed via MOSIRA could be used to fund such practices. MOSIRA also places the Life Science Research Trust Fund, established in 2003 as the vehicle to receive and administer the funds received from the Tobacco Settlement Money, under the control of the MTC.

Last year, the Missouri state House defeated an amendment supported by Missouri Right to life that would have put pro-life limits on embryonic stem cell research and human cloning in the Missouri Science Innovation & Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA). Earlier, the Missouri Senate disappointed pro-life advocates when it passed the bill without adequate pro-life protections.