Stem Cell Lawsuit
On Thursday, Cole County Judge Byron Kinder heard from the supporters and critics of the ballot issue. The proposal is about stem cell research and the disagreement is about when stem cell research becomes human cloning. The issue is somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT.
The authors of the ballot proposal say SCNT is distinct from human cloning because the embryo created by the process is never implanted in a womb, so it can't become a human being. Critics say creating an embryo is creating life.
State Auditor Claire McCaskill and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan approved the wording for the stem cell research ballot proposal. The Missouri Coalition for Life-Saving Cures and other groups support the proposal because, they say, cells in a petrie dish that result from an unfertilized egg are not the same as a human being.
But, others believe what that process creates is a form of human life, so creating life to destroy it is unethical.
"Somatic cell nuclear transfer was the way they formed Dolly the sheep, for instance, or Copycat the cat," said Deacon Larry Weber of the Missouri Catholic Conference. "These are animals we can clearly see are separate and distinct from the donor animals."
If the judge rules the wording is misleading, the authors must change the title of the ballot proposal to state that it does allow human cloning.
Judge Kinder will resume the hearing Jan. 19.
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