Letter to Editor
Vote "No" on Amendment 2
A scientific explanation for children about why a vote for the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative is also a vote for cloning human embryos.
"Mommy, what is SCNT?"
"It stands for Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. It's what scientists used to make Dolly the cloned sheep."
"So if SCNT makes a cloned sheep, why won't it make a cloned baby like the ballot promises?"
"Well, they'll use SCNT to make a cloned human embryo, but they won't be allowed to grow him to a full-sized baby."
"Mommy, what's a human embryo?"
"It's a baby at the very very beginning."
"What's an embryonic stem cell?"
"It's a little part taken from a human embryo."
"Does it hurt the baby?"
"The baby dies."
"Why would anyone want to do that?"
"They hope one day it will cure diseases."
"You mean it has never cured any diseases?"
"No, not one."
"So, why does a baby have to die if it doesn't cure anyone?"
"I don't know."
"What's an adult stem cell?"
"It's a part taken from something like a baby's umbilical cord."
"Does it hurt the baby?"
"What is it used for?"
"It's helped treat 65 diseases, including leukemia and Parkinson's disease."
"So if the SCNT amendment is passed, what will happen?"
"Some of the state's money will go to pay for SCNT and embryonic stem cell research."
"Where will they get the money?"
"They'll take it away from adult stem cell research and other programs such as money for college students and money for children who are too poor to see a doctor or from services that help grandparents or those in wheelchairs."
"Mommy, was I ever an embryo?"
"Yes dear, you and all the voters of this amendment."
"Mommy, cloning is science fiction isn't it?"
"Maybe not after November 7."
Please vote No on Nov. 7 for the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative (Amendment 2).
For more information, go to the Web site: www.nocloning.org.
Mother of three human embryos, now ages 6, 4 and 2
The passage of the Missouri Stem Cell Research And Cures Initiative, or Amendment 2, is vitally important to the Stowers Institute in Kansas City. The fact that they had, by Sept. 1, already spent $19,500,000 of their own money, even before this latest TV campaign, shows this. The question is, what are we getting for their money?
First of all, if their deceptively written amendment passes, we will have legalized Missouri taxpayer sponsored cloning. If you doubt me on cloning, please note that the medical definition of somatic cell nuclear transfer is cloning, per the National Academies of Science, A.M.A., etc... As for our paying for it, see their paragraphs 5 and 7 of their five page initiative. Stowers would be a major benefactor and syphon off our tax dollars. The petition allows them to write their own budgets.
Secondly, their amendment would immunize Stowers and others from lawsuits by women injured in the process of selling their eggs for cloning purposes. See their initiative on this, sections 2-6, 2-7, and 4. This, also, in all probability, would exempt them from any health or safety codes under Missouri law. Once put into law, this initiative cannot legally be repealed under section 7.
Thirdly, they order the destruction, or death, of every life they create. This is made most evident in section 6, "definitions." Estimates are that just by present technology, up to a million could be destroyed every year in Missouri alone, at a cost of billions of our tax dollars. What they fail to tell you is that all the stem cell cures come from adult stem cells at no cost to human life. There is no medical or scientific evidence to show that all this money and death will ever produce any cure or treatment.
I would continue, but time would fail me. Don't let them fool you with their slick, selfserving ads. They only want your money because private companies won't waste theirs on failed science. Please vote "No" on Amendment 2.
Amendment 2, also called the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cloning Initiative, is not what it is purported to be. The words of the amendment have been insidiously crafted to make voters think they are preventing cloning research when just the opposite is true. Amendment 2 will actually encourage cloning research in Missouri. It reads, "No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being." That would be good if it defined cloning honestly, but it does not. Instead, it defines cloning as follows: "Clone or attempt to clone means to implant in a uterus ... anything other than the product of fertilization." In truth, cloning takes place before implantation. A cloned embryo (human being) can be subsequently implanted, but it is by no means the same process nor does implantation have to follow. This amendment would not allow the embryo to be implanted, thus it would have to be destroyed.
Regarding stem cell research, the amendment states: "No human blastocyst may be produced by fertilization solely for the purpose of stem cell research." Again, that sounds very good until the terms are defined. It goes on to state: "Solely for the purpose of stem cell research means producing human blastocysts using invitro fertilization exclusively for stem cell research, but does not include producing any number of human blastocysts for the treating of human infertility."
What this means is that the amendment allows for the production of embryos (human beings) for the purpose of infertility, but then they can actually be used for research. If clones are produced, they must be used for research because they cannot be implanted and thus used for infertility. Furthermore, readers need to understand that a human clone, if he could be produced, would be a real person. He is not a biological robot as in science fiction movies -- he is essentially an artificially induced identical twin that is much younger than the original. This amendment opens the door wide for cloning, then demands that these cloned human lives be destroyed for the sake of embryonic stem cell research.
To all who call themselves Christian, consider these very simple facts: First, life begins at conception -- an embryo is a human being. Nine hours, nine weeks, or nine months, this is a new life as valuable to God as yours or mine. Second, it is never, ever right to intentionally end one human life to aid another. Thus, "harvesting" stem cells from "embryos," or "blastocysts" is legalized homicide. It is morally repugnant, even if it might help another person. The ugly reality is that harvesting stems cells is intentionally snuffing out the new life of the youngest and most helpless in our society.
As it turns out, there are viable alternatives to harvesting embryonic stems cells. The sooner we get off this morally calamitous path that opens an ethical Pandora's Box, the sooner we can get focused on principled solutions that will truly help the diseased and afflicted among us.
Vote no on Amendment 2.