Sadly, it wasn't until a few years later that I discovered the result of that Supreme Court decision. I believe that the first time I spoke out publicly against abortion was in 1979.
I have been a registered voter in Missouri since 1994. 2006 Ballot Measure Constitutional Amendment 2, backed by a strong coalition of Bio-researchers from high-powered corporations, got the initiative on the ballot. Its passage requires only a simple majority. Since Missouri is a red state that has largely been pro-life, the framers of this amendment have resorted to subterfuge, in hopes of having the amendment pass. I am convinced that many Missouri voters will vote without being duly informed, impressed by the media blitz in favor of the amendment. The amendment purports to ban human cloning; however, its adoption opens the door to widespread human cloning. Concerned and informed citizens should vote no!
The initiative itself says, in Section 38(d)2(1): "No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being." That sounds great! A pious person might vote yes, thinking that the amendment bans cloning. However, instead of banning cloning, it allows it! How is that possible? The framers of the document use a special meaning of the word clone. Section 38(d)6(2) defines cloning in this way:
"Clone or attempt to clone a human being" means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.
That's helpful! Most of the scientific world understands that cloning takes place through what is called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer. SCNT, which by the way, is the process that was used to clone Dolly the Sheep, is allowed by the amendment. What is banned is the implantation of the cloned embryo in the uterus. What is banned is the practice of the only thing that could save that embryo from destruction. Researchers at the prestigious Kansas City Institute will make billions of dollars if the amendment is adopted. They purport to do this from a humanitarian point of view, promising cures for diseases. The much repeated mantra that many IVF (In-Vitro Fertilized) embryos would be discarded anyway has been disputed. James L. Sherley, Associate Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, discounts the proximity of cures using embryonic stem cells. He says:
The second excuse pits "a greater good" against "the destruction of embryos for the gain of others," and this is a moral dilemma for sure. However, if the public were fully informed that "a greater good" was extremely unlikely and perhaps impossible, the racers to clone human embryos would be disqualified overnight.
Concerning whether the embryos that must be destroyed to create the embryonic stem cells are human, Sherley says:
My answer is, "What else could they be--aliens?" Scientists who want to conduct experiments are quick to say what human embryos are not. I challenge them to tell the public what human embryos are. There is only one answer to this question, "living human beings."
As a non-scientist, it is easy for me to ascribe greed (for both money and prestige) to the motivations of proponents of this amendment. Sherley, who is a scientist, doubts that they are motivated by science:
When scientists arrange their own press conferences to announce promises for the future that involve significant self-gain, let the public beware. The stumbling-block is non-scientific motivations.
I couldn't have said it any better myself!
I will be voting against this amendment, and I encourage you to do the same. Lots of resources are available for those who want to emulate the men of Issachar. I'm even in agreement with some feminists on this one. I would recommend some sites:
Missouri Roundtable for Life
Missouri Right to Life
Missourians Against Human Cloning
Focus on the Family's Citizen Link on this Initiative
As I contemplate our Brave New World, words from Romans 1 come to mind: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:25)
May God have mercy!