Wednesday, March 14, 2007

1000+ Rally at State Capitol to Ban Human Cloning

From Missourians Against Human Cloning:

On March 7th, Missourians from across the state gathered in the Rotunda of our State Capitol to rally for a true ban on human cloning. During the "No Human Cloning Rally" at noon, the large crowd filled the first floor of the Rotunda, the Grand Staircase and surrounded the railings overlooking the stage on the second and third floors. This highly successful rally was one of the largest ever held at the Capitol. Featured speakers at the rally were Senator Matt Bartle and Representative Jim Lembke who are the sponsors of SJR 20 and HJR 11 which would place before the voters the opportunity to close the loopholes created by Amendment 2. The other speakers were Dr. David Prentice, Representative Belinda Harris, Archbishop Raymond Burke and Pastor Rick Scarborough.

Before and after the rally, participants lobbied their legislators and leaders in both the House and Senate in support of the joint resolutions. They were also able to express their opposition to legislation that would use proceeds from the sale of a portion of the MOHELA assets to potentially fund embryonic stem cell and human cloning experiments. (see below)

At the rally, Rep. Lembke announced he has initiated a discharge petition to move HJR 11 out of the Health Care Policy Committee where it is stalled. A discharge petition requires 55 signatures. Participants were then able to encourage their representatives to sign the discharge petition in the afternoon.

For those who attended, thank you so much for your time and your enthusiasm. It was a great day. For those of you who were unable to attend, it is my hope to share in this report what an exciting and positive experience this was. If you weren't able to lobby in person it is important for you to contact your legislators and leadership to express your support for SJR 20 and HJR 11. Missourians deserve the opportunity to vote to ban all human cloning and return the regulation and oversight of the biotech industry to our state legislature. Visit our web site for pictures from the rally and a link to look up your legislators.

Remember how the pro-cloners kept telling us that they didn't want any public money? Well, take a good look at the controversy surrounding the sale of MOHELA assets and more importantly the projects slated to be funded by the proceeds from this sale. Proponents claim the current list of projects that would be funded by the sale of MOHELA assets (Senate Bill 389) don't include any funding for embryonic stem cell research BUT :

Under the new plan, the Missouri Technology Corporation would be given $15 million so it could attract and retain high-tech companies that engage in human cloning and embryonic stem cell research that are protected by Amendment 2.

The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is chaired by Donn Rubin, who was the official coalition chairman of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures that spent over $30 million to pass constitutional Amendment 2, adopted by Missouri voters in 2006. Many of the board members of the MTC, as well as their affiliated organizations, were heavily involved in support of Amendment 2. Also, the MTC's affiliated organization, the Research Alliance of Missouri (RAM), includes as a member the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, whose founders, James and Virginia Stowers, were major supporters and financiers of Amendment 2. During the campaign on Amendment 2, the Stowers Institute said it would only go forward with its proposed expansion plans in Missouri if Amendment 2 was approved by the voters.

Amendment 2 was purposely written to hide the fact that it is about your money being diverted to fund embryonic stem cell and human cloning experiments. Let YOUR legislators know you won't support this and you are committed to closing the gaping loopholes created by Amendment 2.

Note: At this point any vote on SB 389 has been delayed indefinitely by a committed Democratic filibuster.

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