The MO Secretary of State has released ballot language to describe a potential initiative to outlaw human somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning. And of course, it is utterly biased, scientifically inaccurate, and disrespectful of the democratic process. The ballot initiative language will read:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended 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 by:
– redefining the ban on human cloning or attempted cloning to criminalize and impose civil penalties for some currently allowed research, therapies and cures; and
– prohibiting hospitals or other institutions from using public funds to conduct such research?
In actuality, the current law is what actually redefined cloning from the scientifically accurate definition of creating the embryo asexually through SCNT cloning, to a junk biology/advocacy definition of implanting the embryo (a term not actually used, of course). But implantation is no more an act of cloning than implanting an IVF embryo is the act of fertilization. Thus, the current initiative simply would allow the voters to have their say on whether they want or do not want human cloning in MO–which was denied them due to the utterly dishonest and obstreperous campaign to pass Amendment A run by James Stowers’ political minions and enthusiastically abetted by an in-the-tank media.
Alas, proponents of the initiative don’t have their act together. From the story:
Curt Mercadante, a spokesman for Cures Without Cloning, said the language “in no way accurately reflects what we’re attempting to do.”… Mercadante disputed that the group was “repealing” the ban on human cloning written into last year’s amendment.
“We’re not repealing a current ban on human cloning. That’s preposterous,” Mercadante said. “I mean what we’re doing is adding to the current definition of what cloning is. The current constitution bans some cloning. It would extend the definition of what cloning is to ensure that all cloning is banned. And that’s spelled out specifically in the amendment.” (My italics.)
CURT: The current law doesn’t ban any cloning. It bans implantation. (Read the above repeatedly until it sinks in.) Language matters! If you are going to speak to the media, know what you are talking about. Otherwise, your cause loses.
But I digress: Given that there is a good–albeit not certain–chance voters would reject human cloning, the Establishment happily resorts to Orwellian language engineering–to the cheers of most MO media (although to its credit, this blog entry acknowledges that SCNT would create an embryo).
Is it any wonder we have become such a cynical nation?