Stem Cell Issue Raises Debate
Ron Coleman supports stem cell research for two reasons: his father and his son. The same year his father died of Parkinson's disease, Coleman received more bad news.
"My oldest son, while during a visit, fell down a flight of our stairs, and we took him to the hospital, and he was diagnosed with MS," Coleman said.
As a member of the Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, Coleman helps collect signatures supporting a proposed constitutional amendment. The amendment would prevent lawmakers from banning stem cell research in Missouri. The initiative needs 145,000 valid voter signatures by May 9. It's one-third of the way to that goal.
"I want to make sure that research is protected, so that we can find cures to many of these life-threatening and life-debilitating diseases," said Democratic Sen. Chuck Graham of Columbia.
But, not all lawmakers agree. Republican Sen. Matt Bartle of Lee's Summit, believes stem cell research kills human embryos, so it should be prosecuted.
Opponents of the proposed amendment have run TV ads against it and some clergy have asked church members not to sign the petitions.