Amendment 2 Economic “Study”

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Last week there were several articles in Missouri newspapers about a “study” issued by Constitutional Amendment 2 supporters that passage of the amendment could result in the cures of 285,000 Missourians and save the state $299 million a year. See:

“Stem-cell dollar power listed, but critics dispute outlook,” Kansas City Star, 9/15/2006

“Report touts stem cells’ fiscal impact: Initiative proponents issue research findings,” Columbia Daily Tribune (AP), 9/15/2006

“Mo. Coalition for Lifesaving Cures commissions stem cell study,” St. Louis Business Journal, 9/15/2006

“Study Finds Amendment 2 Will Benefit Hundreds of Thousands of Patients, Reduce Health Care Costs and Boost Economy,” Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Web site press release

I got an email with some helpful talking points abot this “study” by Samuel Lee:

1 No speculative economic benefit can outweigh the moral cost to the state of allowing the wholesale destruction of innocent human embryos for research. Great and prosperous nations like ancient Greece and Rome declined and fell apart becasue of moral decay. No state that places into its Constitution the right to destroy early human lives for research can expect to survive in the long haul.

2 According to Missouri Ethics Commission political campaign finance reports, the authors were each paid $50,000 — $25,000 each — to write the study. In other words, a so-called independent study is actually paid political propaganda written by paid political consultants.

3 These (in essence) two campaign consultants — both men — never considered the health damage and economic harm to women who will be injured by having their eggs extracted to be used in these risky, unproven embryonic stem cell experiments. As the study pointed out, somatic cell nuclear transfer and embryonic stem cell research requires human eggs — but the study fails to point out that if up to 285,000 Missourians are to be cured, many, many hundreds of thousands of women’s eggs will have to used. As well documented in the medical literature, egg extraction requires that a woman undergo a week or more of hormone injections, followed by anesthesia and then an invasive surgical procedure. This can result in severe medical complications for some women, such as anemia, high blood pressure, formation of blood clots, bleeding and possibly ovarian cancer later in life. It can also result in “ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome” which can lead to death. Some doctors are even concerned that these egg extraction techniques might cause future children of these women to be born with birth defects. How does one quantify the human as well as economic cost to women, their families and Missouri taxpayers? These paid campaign consultants didn’t even consider these factors in their study/campaign propaganda. (for more on this see Hands off Our Ovaries)

4 When Amendment 2 supporters announced their campaign in February, 2005, they claimed 500,000 Missourians could be cured by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and human embryonic stem cell research. (See, Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Press Release – 2/17/2005) Now, the number is down to 285,000 people cured. Aren’t these really just numbers their pulling out of the air in order to fool the voters into believing that by passing Amendment 2 in November, people will be cured in December? In just a year and a half, since supporters of Amendment 2 kicked off their campaign, 215,000 (500,00 -285,000) Missourians have just lost their cures! In reality there are no cures after eight years of embryonic stem cell research, no one knows if there will ever be any cures, so to say that 285,000 or 500,000 people or even one person will be cured is pure speculation and raising false hopes. Supporters of Amendment 2 are acting just like typical politicians who will say and do anything and make all sorts of promises in order to get elected.

5 The authors of the study make no mention of the health and economic benefits of adult stem cell research, which is ethical, not controversial and which is providing cures to Missouri patients today without any need to change the Missouri Constitution. Again, as paid political consultants, they were paid well to promote Amendment 2, not to promote the truth.

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