Don’t sign petition to put embryonic stem cell research on ballot

To the editor:

I met a guy with a clipboard outside the Oakville post office the other day.

Nice guy. He asked me to sign a petition to place the issue of embryonic stem cell research on the ballot. I asked him if he was from around here. He sheepishly answered, “Uh, no.”

I asked him if he was getting paid to collect these signatures. “Yeah,” he replied.

This brief exchange confirmed what I had been told. There is a group trying to get an amendment to the Missouri Constitution to allow embryonic stem cell research. They have hired people to get your signature. In other words, these are not your neighbors standing in the cold, hoping to solicit your support for a cause in which they believe. Nope, these folks are doing it for pay. And that should make you suspicious.

If you believe that human life begins at conception, don’t sign the petition. This amendment changes the definition of human cloning. If you are against human cloning, don’t sign the petition.

This amendment will allow the destruction of embryos remaining from in-vitro fertilization procedures. If you realize these same embryos could be thawed and allowed to develop into babies, don’t sign the petition.

We all want medical advances and cures, but they must be developed ethically. The key term in this debate is “embryonic.” Cures are available today using “adult” stem cells. Using adult stem cells avoids the moral problem because their use does not destroy innocent embryonic human life.

If the constitutional amendment passes this fall, then corporations will have the right to clone and kill embryos in Missouri. If it passes, your state senators and representatives will lose the authority to pass legislation regarding human cloning.

Please, don’t sign the petition.

Kent Bettale