It looks like Kentucky wants to follow in the footsteps of Missouri for their 2008 elections. And they’re not the only ones. Everyone’s keeping an eye on Missouri this November, and for good reason. If Amendment 2 can pass in a red state like Missouri, similar amendments can pass almost anywhere. Let’s continue to pray that doesn’t happen.
Amendment 2 Economic “Study”
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.
Thanks to Wesley Smith’s blog today I found out about James Kelly, another paraplegic who is actively speaking out against Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) research and in favor of Adult Stem Cells (ASC). This guy is fantastic! He used to be very much in favor of ESC research, relying on the testimony of “experts” and eventually realized the greater promise of ASC research and the reality of the scientists’ motives. The following articles are from the Seoul Times, for which he regularly writes. He wrote a three part testimonial on how and why he changed his opinion on ESC research and it is fabulous. He very acurately shows how scientists and researchers are using people in our situations to further this research for profit and prestige. This is a must read, truly wonderful:
About Face Part I
About Face Part II
About Face Part III
About Face Part IV
Perhaps the most interesting part of his testimony is in part III when he illustrates how Christopher Reeve opened his eyes to the exploitation of people with disabilities and disease by those in the biotech research industry:
“Because my medical condition was being used to mislead the Senate, I felt used and betrayed. However, perhaps Reeve was betrayed far worse.
Later that year I debated the practicality of cloning with Reeve at the New York Academy of Sciences. At Reeve’s request I tried to tell him of an adult bone marrow clinical trial for ALS and SCI in Turin, Italy. But as I began to speak I was physically muzzled from behind by the scientific moderator of the debate. While I struggled to pull his hands from my mouth, fifty reporters looked on in stunned silence and Reeve’s handlers quickly wheeled him from the room.
Not a word of this reached the public and Reeve remained in the dark.
Would those who misled and exploited Christopher Reeve hesitate to exploit the rest of mankind? Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t want my life or future in the hands of such people. And yet they’re holding both.
As he had touched many others around the world, actor Christopher Reeve touched my life — but not as his handlers intended.
Reeve opened my eyes to an unfolding global tragedy. He made me realize how far those pursuing a multi-billion dollar goldmine in long range basic research will descend to achieve their ends. I eventually concluded that while it appears that science and industry are using disability and disease to exploit human fetal and embryonic life, the truth is far worse. The push for ES and cloning research may exploit us all.”
I was so excited to find this today!
Freedom of Choice?
Hardly. This is a sad story out of Salem NH about a 19 year old girl whose own parents kidnapped her in order to force her to get an abortion:
“Her parents chased her out into the yard, grabbed and tied her hands and feet together,” Salem Police Officer Sean Marino wrote in a court affidavit. “Katelyn states that her father then carried her to their car and they headed toward New Hampshire.”
Investigators said rope, duct tape, scissors and a .22-caliber rifle were found in the Kampfs’ Lexus and Nicholas Kampf had a loaded .22-caliber magazine clip in his pants pocket.
The Kampfs were upset that their daughter was pregnant by a man who is now in jail, police said, and before leaving Maine on Friday they had an argument at the parents’ home.”
Stem Cell Hoax
I was recently sent this movie mail from the Messengers of Hope. Thought it was pretty good and worth passing along.
If you have read my “about me” page, you know that I was paralyzed in a car accident almost 7 years ago. I have always been a pro-life advocate, but recently I have found myself at the forefront of the stem cell research debate in this country as someone who could theoretically benefit from such research. After testifying at a senate judiciary committee hearing in the state of Missouri in favor of a ban on human cloning I have made it my goal to research and educate people about stem cell research and human cloning. The majority of this blog will be dedicated to right to life/bioethical information, otherwise I will comment on various matters of faith, politics, and whatever else may peak my interest on any given day.
Over the next month and a half I will be specifically focusing on Amendment 2, which will be voted on in Missouri this November. This amendment will create a constitutional right to clone and destroy human embryos for scientific research and I am working hard along with the Catholic Church and other churches and pro-life organizations across the state to try to fight it.