Governor still wrong on cloning, MRL
July 26, 2005
For the past several weeks The Pathway has featured opinion columns by Republican Gov. Matt Blunt and Missouri Right to Life, giving them an opportunity to express their views on what happened to pro-life legislation at the end of the last General Assembly session and on the governor’s position on somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning). This is the final installment of this spirited debate and we hope these columns have proven informative for Missouri Southern Baptists.
Gov. Blunt continues to be wrong about the facts of the past legislative session regarding SB2 (the pro-life legislation that would have saved innocent human lives), the facts about somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) cloning and the truth about Missouri Right to Life’s (MRL) actions. The governor continues to say that he supports a ban on human cloning while in the same explanation he does not support a ban on SCNT. The scientific fact of SCNT stated repeatedly by scientists, both pro-cloning and anti-cloning, is that SCNT creates a human embryo.
I’m not sure what the governor meant by “self-evident” when he said that there is not public consensus on SCNT. In the “pro-life” world there is consensus that SCNT creates a human embryo and that we need to make sure that we do not allow science to clone and kill embryos. Let me list the coalition of groups known as MOVAT (Missouri Values Action Team) that asked the governor to pass a ban on human cloning (SCNT): Advance USA, Baptist Bible College, Campaign Life Missouri, Center for Bioethics and Culture, Coalition to Protect Marriage, Concerned Women for America, Constitutional Coalition, Eagle Forum, House of Prayer, Missouri Association of Christian Schools, Missouri Baptist Christian Life Commission, Missouri Catholic Conference, Missouri District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Missouri Family Network, Missouri Right to Life, Vision America and Women’s Clinic of Kansas City. These organizations represent hundreds of thousands of members who are citizens of Missouri. Just a few other organizations, denominations or individuals supporting a ban on human cloning (SCNT) are: Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Missouri Baptist Convention and President George W. Bush. Apparently, per the governor, none of these “leading” organizations, denominations, or people have demonstrated that SCNT is cloning.
As far as Missouri Right to Life being my organization, this is false. Missouri Right to Life belongs to tens of thousands of members who elect their own leaders and board members. And those board members have chosen me to represent them in the halls of the Capitol, and I am privileged to do so. Missouri Right to Life is the largest membership-based pro-life organization in the State of Missouri and is affiliated with National Right to Life. Missouri Right to Life has a “mandate” from pro-life citizens across the state of Missouri to present pro-life legislation to their elected Missouri legislators that they, the citizens of Missouri, have sent to Jefferson City to represent them. In attacking Missouri Right to Life, the governor is attacking every pro-life constituent that sent him to Jefferson City.
To suggest that Missouri Right to Life partnered with the pro-abortion lobby is offensive, but most of all it is utterly ridiculous. I encourage readers to do the following five things.
1. Reread all the articles in the June 21 issue of The Pathway.
2. Seek information from Focus on the Family (or any organization listed above) on the issue of human cloning and SCNT.
3. Read The National Review On Line (www.nationalreview.com) articles that explain the governor’s position and actions. (Article dates and titles: “Gov. Blunt’s Weird Science” – May 23, 2005, and “Blunt Talk” – June 30, 2005).
4. Call Missouri Right to Life and ask for a copy of our testimony turned in to the House Committee on May 9 regarding SB2, the pro-life bill that would have saved innocent human life.
5. Ask the governor why his position to ban human cloning is opposite of President George W. Bush.
Bottom line is this. Missouri Right to Life has no other agenda except to protect innocent human life whether it is under the issue of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research or human cloning. The governor’s agenda appears to be to further Missouri’s economy by not only allowing SCNT (clone and kill), but ensuring that it flourishes. Reality is that to find cures for diseases it is not necessary to allow SCNT. Adult stem cell research shows the only results for cures for diseases and does not destroy life or allow human cloning.
The governor should stop attacking pro-life Missourians and Missouri Right to Life by attempting to justify his actions which prevented pro-life legislation from passing this past legislative session and by trying to justify his support of human cloning (SCNT). (Susan Klein is legislative liaison for Missouri Right to Life.)