Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Understanding Amendment 2 more or less an impossible task.

I was remarking to my parents today during the onslaught of commercials urging voters to "VOTE YES" or "VOTE NO" on this controversial amendment that one side or another needs to SHOW US the writing of the bill where it bans or allows cloning and the sale/purchase of human eggs. Wouldn't it give either side far more credibility if they would put up in black and white what the bill says?? Or at least advertise where the text of the bill can be read? The "VOTE NO" proponents came the closest to doing so by running the text across the screen in one commercial, albeit very fast, and saying where in the amendment it allows for cloning. But still. Both sides are saying contradicting things and not showing any proof to back up their arguments. I decided I had to read the bill for myself.

Here is the text of Amendment 2. Read it. Study it. And allow me to point out a few things about it.

Notice at the very top the bill says "No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being." Sounds good, right? I almost threw in the towel there and decided the bill WAS pretty plain in banning cloning.

But scroll down to the definitions. It says, "'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."

So it won't allow implanting eggs created by somatic cell nuclear transfer in a woman's uterus. But it doesn't ban this procedure, which is cloning in and of itself. You're still doubling a human embryo. And nowhere does the document actually define somatic cell nuclear transfer.

But that's not all. Consider where it says this: "No person may, for valuable consideration, purchase or sell human blastocysts or eggs for stem cell research or stem cell therapies and cures." Oh, good. They won't allow women to sell their eggs or laboratories to buy them. Right?

Once again I direct your attention to the definitions: "'Valuable consideration' means financial gain or advantage, but does not include reimbursement for reasonable costs incurred in connection with the removal, processing, disposal, preservation, quality control, storage, transfer, or donation of human eggs, sperm, or blastocysts, including lost wages of the donor. Valuable consideration also does not include the consideration paid to a donor of human eggs or sperm by a fertilization clinic or sperm bank, as well as any other consideration expressly allowed by federal law."

They are saying one thing, and immediately taking it back. "No we won't allow women to sell their eggs. But we will allow reimbursement to be paid to a donor of human eggs." Either I've got really terrible reading comprehension skills (even though I would LIKE to think they're better than the average Joe Q. Public) or this bill is PURPOSELY MISLEADING the average voter.

After my study of this bill, I have decided that it DOES allow cloning and it DOES allow for laboratories to purchase eggs from women, a dangerous and sometimes deadly process.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen sister!

I might add a few points:

There is currently no legal ban on private funding of embryonic stem cell research in Missouri or elsewhere in the US. However, private and corporate funding has dried up for this because it never produces good results. Those cells just want to grow into every kind of tissue and organ imaginable and have in all the research tests. Embryonic stem cell research has never produced any cure or any treatment. All the funding is now going to adult stem cells as well as placental and umbilical stem cells. Adult stem cells are tamer and tend to grow just the tissue that it is exposed to and is desired. Adult stem cells have produced around 30 - 60 cures or treatments. The number fluctuates because some or separate treatments for same or similar cancer and some aren't sure whether to call these 1 or 2 or 3 treatments. Anyway, all the success, as well as all the profits, has been in adult stem cells. Plus, adult, placental, and umbilical stem cells don't have any ethical issues and don't harm anyone when gathered. Gathering embryonic stem cells always kill the very young person, at least right now...more on this later.

So why do they want to push this? Because it would open up government tax funds for this research that doesn't have to be accountable or produce results. Why would the taxpayer want to fund research that private corporations have already given up on? Would you write a blank check to fund research that has failed again and again? Of course not, but that is what this amendment will allow the Missouri government to do. Academics, at least those with little or no ethical worries about destroying an embryo, would like more money, but the corporate sources have dried up. That pesky little matter of results...

Embryonic stem cell research does possibly have potential for cures, but we just aren't there yet. However, science is getting close to possibly being able to collect some of those cells from the early embryo without killing the embryo. If that should happen, it may no longer be an ethical issue and perhaps science will have advanced a little more so that we might be able to tap the potential of these cells. Plus, there wouldn’t be the murky moral problems of killing an embryo, also called a human being, or cloning and then killing to reproduce those cells.

This is NOT a vote on whether there will be stem cell research or not, though the campaign for it would have you believe otherwise. Missourians will still have access to cures and treatments if this doesn’t pass. And research, mostly adult stem cell because it works, will still continue if this doesn’t pass. Plus, there are different types of stem cell research, but the media doesn’t explain this very well.

Also, this amendment modifies or nullifies or adds to around a dozen or so different articles of the Missouri constitution. Do we really want to rewrite half the constitution if we aren’t even sure what all it is going to do since it is so misleading? And if it is so good, why isn’t it clearer? And why do they have to spend a record smashing $28 million dollars to convince us it is a good amendment?

Well, there's my two cents, or more. Please vote no on 2. It is a waste of money, misleading, and morally wrong.


10/25/2006 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks guys for giving such a thoughtful analysis to this important issue. It was interesting to me for 2 reasons 1) the misleading nature of the proposed legislation and 2) addressing the scientific and even economic issues revolving this debate, not just the moral issues. In Nevada, our major topic is whether or not to dicriminalize marijuana and both Lisa and I have been curious about the stem cell debate in Missouri. Too often, the issue is discussed in terms of Taking a Human Life vs. Preventing Wonderous Breakthroughs in Science. But there is so much more to it all than that. You guys rock!


10/25/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger Craig J. said...

WOW, I'm seriously impressed by you guys. I would like to add one thought to Joseph's comment on why they are pushing this, and why they are struggling so hard to win.

On the surface it is about money, but I think it is more personal than that. Liberals want this to pass because it signifies a cultural shift more toward their side, away from the "ultra-conservative" mindset (which they believe should have died with the 50s) toward a more "progressive" (their word) one which doesn't consider the harvesting of embryos to be comparable to murder ..

This is about changing--liberalizing--the culture, one step at a time. Passage of this bill would be a significant victory for them in the marginalization of unborn children as inhuman tissue mass to dispose of as they please.

And it looks to me like they know full well that the state of Missouri is against this on principle. They also seem to think the state of Missouri is stupid. Thanks Kris and Joseph .. I'm definitely voting 'no'.

10/27/2006 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/29/2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I had to remove the last comment for privacy reasons... sorry!!

10/29/2006 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops....sorry...W/W '08!

10/29/2006 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who said W/W '08 anyway?


10/30/2006 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

W/W '08...twice as much W as the last time around!


11/04/2006 10:09 PM  

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