Stem Cell Bill Goes to Court

1 decade 8 months 6 days ago January 20, 2006 Jan 20, 2006 Friday, January 20 2006 Friday, January 20, 2006 1:04:46 PM CST in News

The ballot initiative concerning cloning human embryos was under review on Thursday. Passionate arguments were given on both sides. One of the witnesses was Jeff McCaffrey who was paralyzed in a car accident three years ago. He has specific reasons for supporting the stem cell initiative, which would expand stem cell research in Missouri as soon as it is approved.

"I'd like to get up and out of this wheelchair, if everything were just to restore to normal I'd like to resume playing college football, and go back to the Air Force Academy," McCaffrey said.

McCaffrey joined the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, a very vocal supporter of expanding stem cell research.

"Ideally, a day sooner is better than a day later with the cures and therapies and that's why it's imperative that we move this forward and we begin gathering signatures," McCaffrey said.

While the bill allows for stem cell research it bans human cloning. Some opponents say the language of the bill is deceiving.

"Because it says that it bans human cloning, that infers that it bans all human cloning, when in fact it allows human cloning for research," said Kevin Theriot of the Alliance Defense Fund.

The Alliance said, although they disagree with the bill, they do believe Missourians should have the opportunity to vote on the ballot.

"But, they need to have an informed opportunity, and not be deceived by the ballot title," Theriot said.

Opponents of the bill, like The Alliance, continue to fight to change the language of the bill while supporters are anxious to get the initiative out of the courts, and into the public.

"The opponents of this initiative are doing whatever they can to keep this initiative from getting to the people. Why? Because they know, I believe, that Missourians are going to support this initiative. So, our goal is just to move forward with this initiative," said Donn Rubin of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.

The Coalition soon will be able to begin gathering signatures. The judge ruled to leave the wording the way it is. If the initiative goes through, Missourians will be voting on the issue in November.

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