Politics & Policy

Missouri Manipulation

Don't get conned on cloning.

The human-cloning fight rages on in Missouri and state officials are once again taking sides and tricking voters. But possibly the worst fraud yet came Wednesday from Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Last year a pro-cloning constitutional amendment, disguised as an anti-cloning measure and promising “treatments and cures,” passed by a razor-thin margin — despite a record-breaking $30 million dollar campaign war chest, financed almost exclusively by one billionaire with big plans. It took the art of dishonest politics to a whole new level.

To right that wrong, a grassroots group called Cures without Cloning is promoting a measure to give Missourians another chance to ban human cloning. Their measure would allow voters to ban the act of creating cloned human embryos for research — conduct which last year’s measure raised to the level of a constitutional right.

But Carnahan would rather con them. Yesterday, Secretary Carnahan issued her official ballot summary for the anti-cloning measure. It says the Cures without Cloning initiative would amend the state constitution “to repeal the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning and to limit Missouri patients’ access to stem cell research, therapies and cures approved by voters in November 2006.”

This is sheer propaganda, and it’s not even subtle.

She played this same game last year. The ballot language she issued for Amendment 2 said the measure would ban human cloning. This ignored the fact that the fine print created a constitutional right to do somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is the scientific name for cloning and is the same procedure used to clone Dolly the Sheep.

In fact, a Missouri appeals court judge even ruled last year that Carnahan’s Amendment 2 ballot language would “tend to mislead” voters. There can be no doubt that it did just that.

Now Carnahan’s shenanigans are back, and worse than ever.

Missourians deserve better than this. Every poll ever taken shows that Missourians don’t want human cloning to be legal in their state, and they ought to have the chance to go to the polls, and to make this part of their law.

The United Nations has passed a resolution against all forms of human cloning. Several European countries have banned it, as have several neighboring states.

The only way to keep human cloning legal in Missouri is through lies. And Secretary Carnahan has just dropped a whopper.

 –Attorney Cathy Ruse is senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council.

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