Whom do you trust?
by Missouri Rep. Ed Emery
(R-126 including the counties of Barton, Dade, Jasper and Polk)
I personally cannot support the initiative because I've always been opposed to human cloning and this measure would make cloning human life at the earliest stage a constitutional right. --Missouri Senator Jim Talent, referring to Missouri’s Amendment 2
Missourians are decidedly pro-life and even more decidedly against human cloning, and your elected legislature reflects your sentiments. However, frustrated with your legislature’s attempts to prohibit cloning, cloning proponents are trying to remove the legislature from influencing unethical research. They also want an open checkbook for public funds (your tax dollars), free from the legislative appropriation process.
Stowers Institute in Kansas City and Washington University in St. Louis, proponents of cloning research, are asking you to put four new pages of single-spaced, typewritten legalese into our constitution. These institutions are banking on deception to hold long enough for Missourians to vote for something Missourians are fundamentally against.
Stowers Institute knows the medical definition for cloning, and they know Missourians are opposed, so they have redefined cloning to protect the guilty. Even Shakespeare knew that a rose by any other name is still a rose. It looks the same, it smells the same, and it is the same. Cloning is still cloning regardless of how the label is changed by the one trying to sell it. Do not be deceived.
Stowers wants to write their personal definition (different than that in any medical textbook) into the Missouri Constitution. The subtlety of their deceptive definition is diabolical, and with passage of their amendment, this unique medical definition becomes part of our State Constitution. Such an action is unprecedented and is essentially writing current medical technology into a foundational government document. Do you want your doctor to have to reference the state constitution for medical advice?
The ballot language continues the pattern of deception. It is so deceptive that it was challenged in court. Although the language survived, some judges acknowledged that the initiative itself was confusing and deceptive. You can examine the language for yourself, with clarifying comments, by going here.
The promotional literature you may have received in the mail, as well as the ads you are seeing and hearing, further compromise the truth. You will hear the claim that Missouri is not required to fund any stem cell research. However, section 5 prohibits state government from withholding state funds from cloners if they are also doing other types of research, and all researchers are. The sec. 5 language is somewhat ambiguous, but section 7 of the initiative directs that any disputes are to be resolved in favor of the cloners. Very subtle and clever, isn’t it? It is all about whom you can trust. You can download the entire 4-page amendment by going here.
Finally, there is the confusion-by-design inherent in discussing stem cells as a general term. The whole truth is that there are two major types of stem cells: adult and embryonic. The adult stem cell research has produced over 65 successful treatments and some amazing cures. It requires no ethical or moral compromise. The other stem cell, embryonic (a.k.a. SCNT, early stem cell, and ES) is embroiled in controversy ethically and morally and has produced zero treatments or cures after 20 years of research. The cures that have been claimed have all turned out to be hoaxes.
You may not have time to research Amendment 2 before November the 7th. Your vote may boil down to “whom do you trust”. Stowers is banking on fooling enough people to write their business plan into the Missouri Constitution regardless of the ethical concerns or objections from the people’s elected representatives. They only have to fool 51%. If you still have questions, please do your own research. The more you know, the more you will oppose Amendment 2. It is bad government, bad policy, bad economics, and bad ethics. If you can’t do the research, ask yourself honestly – whom can I trust?