Amendment 2 would have far-reaching effect
JEFFERSON CITY—When Missourians step into the voting booth on Nov. 7, they will have a chance to voice their opinion about an issue that has gone national—embryonic stem cell research.
Amendment 2 is officially known as the “Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative” and its purpose is to protect embryonic stem cell research. Considering that the amendment has eight provisions, what exactly would voters approve if they voted in the affirmative?
“This amendment is both simple and complex,” said Rodney Albert, chairman, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Christian Life Commission (CLC). “It is simple because the fundamental issue is whether we will legalize using human embryos for scientific research. If approved, Missouri will become the nation’s first state to legalize the wanton destruction of the tiniest of humans. It is complex because it deals with so many other aspects of our state law. With almost 2,000 words, the amendment, to use the Secretary of State’s own language, ‘may change, repeal or modify’ 44 existing sections of our state constitution. That’s a huge overhaul and most Missourians have no knowledge of that far-reaching effect.”
Not only would the amendment repeal current Missouri laws that place restrictions on the use of tissue—including stem cells from aborted babies, but it would also allow an unthinkable practice referred to in the amendment as “stem cell therapy.” Stem cell therapy, also referred to as “cosmetic stem cell surgery,” uses tissue from harvested embryos and aborted babies for face lifts.
Even if some voters find such a provision distasteful or even reprehensible, they still might be tempted to vote for the amendment because they’ve been told that stem cell research will allow researchers to find cures for many heinous diseases. Albert wants Christians to consider the big picture instead.
“Let’s not get so excited over cures that we lose sight of how these so-called cures are being proposed,” Albert said. “Missourians are being asked to legalize the destruction of an entire class of humans so medical research can go forward. What Missouri Baptist would support using newborn children with serious deformities for medical research? Yet what we wouldn’t permit to happen on newborn babies we are thinking about allowing on tiny, developing embryos. Just because a human embryo doesn’t yet have arms, eyes and a smile does not negate her humanity. That embryo is human.
“Also, the ‘cures’ argument is over-stated. Honest scientists in the field of embryonic stem cell research admit it is unlikely this research will ever be useful for cures. It is being hyped for the financial advantage of a few powerful institutions. Research with adult stem cells, on the other hand, shows very real promise. Currently, adult stem cells are being used in treatments and trials of over 70 significant illnesses and diseases. This is more than a hope, it is a present reality. Missourians who care about cures should support adult stem cell research and oppose Amendment 2.”