Missouri retreats from stem cell work
July 24, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eight months ago, Missouri seemed well on its way to becoming a national leader in stem cell research.
Voters amended the state's constitution to protect stem cell research — even the controversial form using cells from human embryos. Actor Michael J. Fox appeared in TV ads, visibly shaking from Parkinson's disease as he sought votes for stem cell supporter Claire McCaskill in her bid for the U.S. Senate.
Now the spotlight is all but gone after a research institute and lawmakers withdrew financial support.
The setbacks began when conservative Missouri lawmakers stripped funding for some prominent life-sciences projects, including a $150 million research center at the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Then in June, a medical institute in Kansas City announced that it would halt its $300 million expansion project because of controversy over the research. The founders of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research had financed most of the $30 million campaign to pass the amendment.
Critics of embryonic stem cell research are opposed to the process because it requires embryos to be destroyed to harvest their cells.
Opponents were also encouraged when three teams of scientists announced last month that they had produced the equivalent of embryonic stem cells in mice without destroying embryos.
Two weeks later, President Bush vetoed a bill that would have permitted human embryonic research — a clear signal to like-minded Missourians who saw November's vote, 51 percent to 49 percent, as anything but a clear mandate.
Even so, the reality of the callous destruction of human life for "science" (AKA the utilitarian 'greater good') continues to cloaked in misleading terminology and specious arguments.
Again and again, let us pray to the Lord!