Why I Can’t Support Gov. Blunt

Chelsea2008 Election, Cloning5 Comments

Blunt won’t support SCNT ban
Gov. Matt Blunt said today that he won’t support a new initiative push to ban human cloning – a measure that would also outlaw somatic cell nuclear transfer.

“I think my position on this issue is well known,” Blunt said. “My position on what sort of scientific research should occur in this state is well-known. And I wouldn’t be in support of the initiative.”

This is why I am not looking forward to 2008 on a State as well as a National level. Next year Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, will be running against Atty. General Jay Nixon, a pro-choice Democrat. While Blunt may be anti-abortion, he is not wholly pro-life. Regarding somatic cell nuclear transfer, the process by which, when using a human egg and somatic cell, a human being is cloned, Gov. Blunt has allowed himself to be convinced that what is created is not “human.” blunt1.jpgI tried to figure this out in a meeting with him in 2005 regarding a cloning ban that was in the Senate. He explained that he believed that God’s plan for the creation of human life involved the union of a sperm and egg. While he agreed with me that a new “life” would be created through SCNT, he disagreed that that life would be human since no sperm would be involved in the creation process. When I asked him to explain, then, what kind of organism was actually created he said more or less, “we don’t know what it is, but it’s not human, is therefore not unethical and should not be banned.”

For a relatively intelligent man, this is an illogical and unintelligent conclusion. When using a human egg and somatic cell, SCNT creates a living organism which is genetically and biologically human, indistinguishable from one created through normal sexual reproduction. Any way you slice it, that’s human life, plain and simple. During his gubernatorial campaign he promised pro-lifers that he would support any ban on human cloning in the state. Since becoming governor he has been romanced by Missouri’s biotech industry and opposed now three measures to ban cloning, along with supporting an effort to protect human cloning in the MO Constitution and appropriating state funds to the bio industry (see, The Muddled 2007 Legislative Session, paragraph 3).

He may be better than the current alternative regarding abortion, but human cloning has become perhaps the most pressing pro-life issue of our time and on that he has failed miserably, so I’m holding out for someone better. If that someone doesn’t come I’m not quite sure what I’ll do. As I said, I’m not looking forward to 2008.

My letters to Blunt in 2005:
Letter 1
Letter 2

5 Comments on “Why I Can’t Support Gov. Blunt”

  1. Dolly was created via somatic cell nuclear transfer, i.e. there was no ovine sperm involved at all in Dolly’s creation.

    So, according to the Guv’nuh’s way of thinking, Dolly wasn’t actually a sheep, right?

  2. lol…something like that. Actually, during testimony for a cloning ban in 2005, then Sen. Charles Wheeler, a doctor, kept proclaiming that there had to be sperm in order to create human life. Regarding Dolly he did, in fact, say that Dolly wasn’t really a sheep. If I remember correctly his words went like this, “everybody thought that since Dolly looked like a sheep and baa’d like a sheep, she was a sheep. But she wasn’t a sheep!” She was a copy of a sheep…or something like that.

  3. Wow, that is a strange distinction to make. I’ve heard a different rationalization that makes more sense, some days I agree with it and some days I don’t, that an embryo is human, but it is not alive until it has its own blood. Therefore its OK to do what we will with it, since it isn’t alive yet. There are many references in the bible to the “life is in the blood”, “without blood, there is no life” and things like that. Before it is alive, an embryo could be said to like a house being built, and the lifeless house becomes a living home when someone moves in. But even on the days that I feel that way, I still don’t believe we should be creating embryos or doing ESCR, just because I think it’s a dangerous and wasteful thing to do.

  4. Interesting. I wonder what Ed Martin, the governor’s chief of staff, will do. He has a fairly strong Catholic pro-life reputation, part of the reason why the governor hired him.

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