Jefferson City, MO – Two ballot initiatives sponsored by opponents of abortion and human cloning have been approved for signature circulation in Missouri.
The first ballot question would bar state tax dollars from being used to fund abortions or to fund the procedure known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is considered to be human cloning by the sponsoring group Missouri Roundtable for Life. GOP Congressional candidate Ed Martin heads the group:
Martin: "We're not saying people cannot do embryonic stem cell research with their own money, on their own property all that is completely legal; what we're saying is tax dollars cannot be used for this"
A separate group is sponsoring the second initiative, which would grant constitutional rights to fetuses by legally defining the word "person."
Jim Goodwin is with the group Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, which supports stem cell research:
Goodwin: "It would literally impact thousands of Missouri laws that use the word person,' and it's trying to jeopardize our right to access future stem cell therapies those are patient protections that Missouri voters approved in 2006."
Goodwin also says the ballot question barring state tax dollar use would harm education and research at Missouri's universities, and could hinder the state's pursuit of high-tech jobs.