Post-Election Upate: Unfortunately, Amendment 2 narrowly passed.
I received the following email:
The Missourians Against Human Cloning asks for your support to defeat the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative to be voted on this November. This Initiative is a cruel sham offering unfounded hope and claiming to be opposed to human cloning but fostering it through its deceptive terminology of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) as a means to clone human embryos. As you may know, the human ovum has half the number of chromosomes of an adult cell nucleus until it is fertilized by the human sperm. The sperm adds the other half, producing a cell with 46 chromosomes, the Zygote, with all the genetic material needed to multiply and mature into a human embryo. Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR), using SCNT, destroys the nucleus of the ovum and replaces it with a somatic cell nucleus. This transfer of a nucleus with its 46 chromosomes to the ovum, from a source other than fertilization, is the procedure used to clone Dolly the sheep and, in ESCR, is HUMAN CLONING, nothing else. The true definition of cloning is SCNT and is universally accepted by leading medical and scientific organizations. To obfuscate this definition, the proponents deceitfully have changed their definition of cloning to justify their claim of prohibiting human cloning. They define cloning as “implanting in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male." Cloning occurs with the nuclear transfer to the stripped ovum. Cloning has nothing to do with implanting.
In spite of over 20 years of research with embryonic stem cells, it has never been approved for human experimentation and there has never been a successful outcome, even though the proponents imply that cures will be there if we but vote yes for the amendment. On the contrary, ESCR has produced tumors and /or anomalies in experimental animals, a procedure too dangerous to try in humans. In sharp contrast to ESCR, Adult Stem Cell Research (ASCR) has had significant success in over 65 diseases, with cures in 7. It uses cells from your own body; such as cells from umbilical cords, placenta, bone marrow, skin, nasal mucosa, connective tissue, and GI Tract. These cells normally replace those cells that have completed their life cycles and can be stimulated to produce a variety of tissues and substances. Recently ASCR has produced insulin, which could lead to a cure of diabetes. And patients with spinal cord injuries have shown improvement in sensory and muscular function. Money used for ESCR diverts money away from ASCR where real successes have been achieved and in which there is no destruction of human embryos.
By making the Initiative a Constitutional Amendment, it supersedes any portion of the present Constitution and any law that conflicts with it. The Secretary of State here lists at least 45 sections of the Constitution that will be altered including laws related to abortion that clearly recognize that human beings exist from the moment of conception. It
enshrines the right to clone and destroy human embryos for research purposes and prevents the legislature from ever regulating human cloning and embryo experimentation in the future. The right is essentially unlimited. "No law can prevent, restrict, obstruct, or discourage any stem cell research or create disincentives… All Laws shall be construed in favor of cloning and any discouragement of.. same.. is unconstitutional". In addition, patients suffering damages from embryonic stem cell therapies have no legal recourse.
Most of the funding, for the initiative, approximately 95% of the 16 million dollars, has come from the Stowers family of the Stowers Research Institute in Kansas City. They are buying the amendment. Taxpayer money will be used to fund the initiative in the future, and will be guaranteed, since a reduction in funding would fall under the restrictions above and be deemed unconstitutional. ESCR has the potential for large profits for the Stowers and other researchers, if successful, as the cell lines are patentable. ASCR is not patentable.
Lastly, millions of eggs will be needed to promote ESCR and could result in the exploitation of young women, especially the poor and those on college campuses. Hyperovulatory stimulation, used to generate abundant eggs, and has been associated with complications in as high a 35% of the women stimulated and includes, nausea, vomiting and infertility. More serious complications have included thromboses with strokes, kidney and liver failure and death.
Help is urgently needed. If you wish to support our efforts to defeat the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative you may send your contribution to:
Missourians Against Human Cloning
P.O. Box 967
Chesterfield, Mo. 63006
Thank you and please vote NO on Amendment 2 in the November ballot.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
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