Friday, May 2, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Court of Appeals Rules Cures Without Cloning Initiative is Not a Repeal

This statement was released today by Missouri Cures Without Cloning:

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Cures Without Cloning Initiative Campaign (CWC) won a partial legal victory today when the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that part of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s ballot summary was “insufficient and unfair.” In the opinion, Judge Hardwick stated “Upon review of the Plaintiffs' initiative proposal, we find no language to suggest that it would repeal the ban on human cloning…. The Secretary's introductory language does not fairly summarize any goal or effect of the initiative proposal and is inadequate to give clear notice of its purpose.”

While this was a big victory for CWC’s efforts to present Missouri voters with a clean vote to ban human cloning in Missouri, we are disappointed the court upheld the unsubstantiated prediction that this amendment would limit patients’ access to stem cell cures and treatments. There is no basis for this assertion. We are evaluating our options regarding appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court and pursuing relief from the Secretary of State for violation of our constitutional rights.

Following is a statement by Lori Buffa, MD, chairwoman of CWC:

“While there is some satisfaction from today’s decision, the deadline to submit the approximately 150,000 signatures necessary to place the measure on the November 2008 ballot is Sunday. Clearly, it has been the intent of Robin Carnahan and those who support human cloning in our state to abuse the initiative process and prohibit
us from placing a true ban on human cloning on the ballot. However, justice delayed will not be justice denied. CWC will continue our educational efforts throughout this year and resubmit our initiative in November. Hopefully, by this time next year our vast organization of trained volunteer circulators will be collecting signatures for the 2010 election cycle.

“Missouri Cures Without Cloning is committed to banning human cloning and taxpayer funding of human cloning in Missouri. Our broad coalition continues to build support as we have gained thousands of supporters from all areas of the state. Momentum is on the side of our growing movement as Missourians become aware of the human cloning loophole in our constitution. As we continue to share the truth about human cloning in Missouri, more and more of our fellow citizens will join us in supporting a true ban on human cloning in 2010.”

Missouri Cures Without Cloning (CWC) is leading a broad-based, statewide coalition of grassroots organizations committed to prohibiting the cloning of human beings in Missouri. Interested citizens are invited to visit for more information.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Email to Mr. Rubin

We received an email from a supporter of Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures that was dismayed by the recent email alert that MCLC sent out to its supporters. Here is the email we were copied in on:

Mr. Rubin,

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know I am more than a little dismayed by this recent "Be Alert" email from your organization. Please understand, I am not against your movement in any way. I am, in point of fact, a huge supporter of stem cell research. However, I am an even bigger supporter of freedom.

If people oppose stem cell research they have every right to go out and collect signatures on petitions.

Do I hope they fail in their bid? Yes, of course. That, however, is not my point.

I see no logical reason for you to request people call a hotline in order that you be able to compile "information regarding the activity level of the anti-stem cell forces." This is a political action, not a war.

Honestly, the line "be sure to tell us when and where you spotted them, and how many individuals were involved" is at best, Orwellian in its scope. I can only imagine why you would want these locations and headcounts, and trust me, I hope my imagination is wrong.

Amendment I of the Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." This was ratified December 15, 1791 and it applies to everyone.

Obviously these people have what they feel is a grievance, and they are exercising their right to petition.

While I will continue to support stem cell research via other avenues, my faith in your organization has been severely damaged.

M. R. Sellars

Thank you to M. R. Sellars for allowing us to reprint his email in full.

Cures Without Cloning supports stem cell research, but is opposed to human cloning in any form.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Update on the Legal Battle for a Fair Ballot Summary

Yesterday, a panel of three judges from the Western District Court of Appeals heard the oral arguments regarding the Secretary of State's appeal of the Circuit Court ruling that her ballot summary was "unfair and insufficient". The oral arguments are the final step presenting both sides of the case to the court. Prior to yesterday's hearing, several hundred pages of "briefs" have been filed with the court from both sides. At this point, we have no indication of when the court will rule on the case. We will, of course, notify you immediately when a decision is reached.

We believe that no matter how many irrelevant side issues the cloners try to raise, the court cannot deny the basic facts as stated by our lead attorney, Eddie Greim. Eddie argued that Carnahan's summary improperly includes policy and social claims and more importantly does not include the central purpose of the proposed amendment, which is to ban human embryonic cloning.
"The statement really missed the legal core of this proposal," Greim said in an interview after the hearing. "Instead it made predictions and policy arguments and various other types of claims that don't belong in a summary statement." ("Missouri appeals court looks at stem cell ballot" by Margaret Stafford/AP Columbia Missourian, March 26, 2008)
Sitting in the courtroom for both the circuit court and court of appeals hearings, I cannot help but wonder how many taxpayer dollars have been spent by the Attorney General's office to defend the malfeasance of the Secretary of State. Clearly, Robin Carnahan's abuse of power has cost us, as Missouri citizens, in legal fees and time wasted and then we are also paying with our tax dollars for her defense!

What NOW?

Because we have such a large and wide spread volunteer army of circulators, we have opted to wait for the Court of Appeals ruling before circulating petitions. If the appeals court were to change even one word then we would have to reprint and distribute over 150,000 petitions while insuring the original petitions were destroyed. That challenge would be greater than working within a tight timeframe.

There is still a great deal of work to be done as we prepare. We continue to recruit and train volunteer circulators and coordinators across the state. If you have yet to be trained - we need you. Click here to volunteer today!

Monday, February 25, 2008

"Mo. judge sides with anti-cloning forces"

The Baptist Press , in a story by Michael Foust, has reported on our recent court victory.
Pro-lifers in Missouri won a major court victory Feb. 20 when a state judge rewrote the ballot language of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban all types of human cloning.
Read the full story.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Ballot Summary

The following is the language that the judge handed down and is now certified to the Secretary of State:
Should the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the definition of cloning and ban some of the research as approved by voters in November, 2006 by:
• prohibiting human cloning that is conducted by creating a human embryo at any stage from the one-cell stage forward;
• prohibiting expenditure of taxpayer dollars on research or experimentation on human cloning; and
• allowing stem cell research for therapies and cures that complies with these prohibitions and the prohibitions of Section 38(d) of theConstitution?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Press Release: "Cures Without Cloning Statement on Court Ruling Upholding Challenge to Carnahan Ballot Summary"

This statement was released by Cures Without Cloning in response to today's court ruling.

Cures Without Cloning Statement on Court Ruling Upholding Challenge to Carnahan Ballot Summary

ST. LOUS, MO – Lori Buffa, MD, chairwoman of Cures Without Cloning, released the following statement regarding the ruling of Circuit Judge Patricia S. Joyce upholding the coalition’s challenge to the Secretary of State’s misleading and inaccurate ballot summary:

“This ruling proves what we’ve said along: that our clear, concise initiative would prohibit human cloning and the taxpayer funding of human cloning in Missouri.

“We are pleased that the courts have upheld our challenge to Secretary of State Carnahan’s blatant attempt to mislead the Missouri voters with her inaccurate ballot summary.

“It is unfortunate that Ms. Carnahan’s actions have needlessly delayed the democratic process, but we are now prepared to move forward with our efforts to prohibit the cloning of human beings here in Missouri.”

Cures without Cloning (CWC) is leading a broad-based, statewide coalition of grassroots organizations committed to prohibiting the cloning of human beings in Missouri. Interested citizens are invited to visit for more information.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wesley Smith on the latest claims of the Stowers Institute

There are a couple of stories out recently regarding the Governors' summit and Wesley Smith at Secondhand Smoke responds to the claims of William Neaves of the Stowers Institute. The following is one of the topics touched on in Smith's blog post.

William Neaves, head of the Stowers Institute, is perhaps the most disingenuous advocate for human cloning that I have ever encountered. To say that I disrespect the man is to say the sky is blue. Well, he's at it again in this story about human cloning and stem cell research in Missouri.


"Those that oppose this research still threaten to overturn the stem cell amendment and the struggle to keep Missouri safe for medical science must continue." A new bill to ban Stowers research is pending in the General Assembly."We remain optimistic that most Missourians will oppose misguided efforts by some politicians to outlaw legitimate biomedical research," Neaves said.

I don't know about any bill in the Assembly and a search did not turn up any. There is a planned initiative to outlaw human cloning. But many believe human cloning is not legitimate medical research, which is why Neaves pitches so much junk biology to pretend that the new planned initiative would outlaw ESCR, which it would not.

Be sure to check out the full post over at Secondhand Smoke.

"Scientists Show [iPS] Stem Cells Don't Cause Cancer"

There has been more good news on the research front: another hurdle in the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) looks to have been cleared. U.S. News and World Report announced the good news last week: "A major concern with using [induced pluripotent] stem cells [iPS] to treat disease has been the possibility that the retrovirus used to implant the cells might cause cancer, but now a group of scientists appears to have solved that problem." The major breakthrough on iPS stem cells only happened a last November, so the pace of the progress on clearing the hurdles in its path highlights the practicality of this new line of research.

In November, two groups of researchers -- one in Japan and one in the United States -- showed that adult human and mouse skin cells could be reprogrammed into stem cells similar to embryonic stem cells, which can be made into any type of cell. These cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), could be the key to using stem cells to cure a variety of diseases.

In this latest study, published in the Feb. 14 issue of Science, the Japanese researchers prove these stem cells are made from normal mature adult cells, and they show that these stem cells can be implanted using a retrovirus without fear of causing cancer.

"This is a real nice follow-up and confirmation of the previous papers that looked at inducing normal cells to become stem cells," said Dr. Hugh Taylor, an associate professor at Yale University School of Medicine.

"The question that still existed from the previous paper was whether these stem cells were some sort of adult stem cells," Taylor said. "This paper shows that these
stem cells are fully differentiated adult cells, that they can be reprogrammed into stem cells," he added. "You can probably take almost any adult cell and turn it into a stem cell."

In addition, there has been a fear that using a retrovirus to implant stem cells results in an increased risk of cancer. This study showed that doesn't happen, Taylor said. "It proves, without a doubt, that these cells are safe for human use," he noted.
"Using adult cells to create what appeared to be embryonic stem cells solves the ethical dilemma that some people have in creating or destroying embryos to create stem cells," Taylor said.

Read the full article here.

"Guest Column: Doctor backs anti-cloning initiative"

By Dr. Michael Acuff, Columbia, MO

As a spinal-cord injury specialist, I have dedicated my career to improving the lives of my patients. Over the years, as medical research has progressed, one of the biggest challenges for physicians like me has been to bridge the gap between providing hope and providing false hope.

The new Cures Without Cloning initiative, which would amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit human cloning and taxpayer funding of human cloning, is about hope.

It is about allowing us to focus our medical research on promising, safe methods to find lifesaving cures and treatments, but doing it without human cloning, which is dangerous, unproven and outside the mainstream of society.

Those who allege human cloning is necessary in the pursuit of these cures and treatments are providing false hope.

The Cures Without Cloning initiative would only prohibit research involving human cloning - nothing more, nothing less. There are plenty of promising research methods, including many forms of stem-cell research, that do not involve human cloning.

Perhaps this is why so many doctors across the state are supporting this common-sense initiative.

Why do we need a prohibition on human cloning? Simple: Because the Missouri Constitution currently only prohibits some cloning. It does, though, permit the same form of human cloning that created Dolly the sheep.

This isn't a religious issue; this isn't an economic-development issue. It's an issue of doing what's right for our patients; it's about allowing medical researchers to focus on safe, proven research techniques, rather than throwing away our tax dollars.

But it seems to me that turning our backs to safe, proven research techniques, while continuing to throw endless tax dollars toward dangerous, unproven human cloning experiments, is wrong.

The Cures Without Cloning initiative does not prohibit stem-cell research. Actually, by prohibiting human cloning, the researchers of our state will be able to focus on the exciting areas of stem-cell research that show real promise and real hope.

The cloning prohibition simply prohibits human-cloning experiments.

We should embrace the exciting promise of cures and treatments that stem-cell research can bring, but we should do so by resoundingly rejecting the practice of human cloning.

My patients deserve hope, and they deserve the best efforts from medical researchers.

By supporting the Cures Without Cloning initiative, we can provide hope, we can provide an honest search for lifesaving cures and treatments, and we can do so without the dangerous, unnecessary practice of cloning human beings.


Originally published by The Maneater

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

UCLA team latest to replicate breakthrough

Another team has created pluripotent stem cells, this time from UCLA. The Daily Breeze reports:

Researchers at UCLA have become the first in the state to successfully create skin cells that can be used to treat a number of fatal or debilitating conditions without the use of human embryos or eggs.

The work, which has broad political and ethical implications, appears today in the academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings confirm earlier research by Wisconsin and Japanese scientists reported last fall.

The manufacture of these cells provides a potential coup for opponents of embryonic stem cell research, which involves destroying cells that some equate to destroying human life and raises ethical issues associated with regeneration of cells through human cloning.

The laboratory cells created at UCLA "were virtually indistinguishable from human embryonic stem cells," said Kathrin Plath, an assistant professor of biological chemistry at UCLA and lead author of the study. "We're very excited about the implications of this."

Candidates for Governor on Human Cloning

The Columbia Tribune reported yesterday on the views of the candidates for governor on human cloning. U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof and state Treasurer Sarah Steelman are both opposed to human cloning, while Attorney General Jay Nixon opposes the Cures Without Cloning initiative.

Steelman and Hulshof voted against a ballot item that placed provisions in the Missouri Constitution that, among other things, prohibited the legislature from applying any regulations against stem cell research allowed by federal law.

The two also are opposed to somatic cell nuclear transfer. That process involves transferring an individual’s DNA to an unfertilized egg to grow stem cells that could be integrated into that person’s body. That creates an early stage embryo that must be destroyed to harvest embryonic stem cells.

Nixon, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, supports abortion rights and condemned a ballot item submitted last year for circulation that would ban somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thank you!

We want to extend a big thank you to all of our volunteers around the state who braved the weather and handed out literature at the polls on Tuesday.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Grassroots Organization?

Pro-Cloning Group Relies on “Paid Volunteers” to Work Polls on Election Day

The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures claims it is a broad-based grassroots organization, so why is it paying big bucks to hire workers to staff polling places on Election Day?

What happened to the organization’s grassroots volunteers?

Following is a copy of a flier distributed by the pro-cloning coalition:

In case you can't read the flier, it says:

Do You Support Stem Cell Research?

Would You Like to Make $12 Per Hour?

Do You Have Free Time on February 5th, 2008?


The flier also states that the poll workers will be used to educate "thousands of Missourians" on the organization's goal: to oppose a prohibition on human cloning.

They claim to be a grassroots organization, but continue to rely on major contributions from a few wealthy contributors to fund the protection of human cloning.

Clearly if they must pay poll workers there is no real base of volunteer support.

PRESS RELEASE: "In Case You Missed It"

Here is the press release that Cures Without Cloning released today:

In Case You Missed It:
Finnish Researchers Transplant Bone from Stem Cells:
Derived Without Human Cloning

ST. LOUS, MO – Reuters reports on scientists in Finland who say they have “replaced a 65-year-old patient's upper jaw with a bone transplant cultivated from stem cells isolated from his own fatty tissue and grown inside his abdomen.”

This new development comes on the heels of three separate teams of researchers who have been able to “reprogram” ordinary skin cells to take on the properties of embryonic stem cells.

In all cases, no cloning of human beings took place.

Reuters reports (

Scientists in Finland said they had Researchers said on Friday the breakthrough opened up new ways to treat severe tissue damage …

"There have been a couple of similar-sounding procedures before, but these didn't use the patient's own stem cells that were first cultured and expanded in laboratory and differentiated into bone tissue," said Riitta Suuronen of the Regea Institute of Regenerative Medicine, part of the University of Tampere.

A very significant aspect of this latest stem cell success is that stem cells from fat were differentiated into bone cells. Those who want to promote a human cloning agenda have been trying to convince the public adult stem cells cannot do this. Clearly, they can and they work.

The evidence continues to mount that human cloning is not necessary in the pursuit of lifesaving cures and treatments. Furthermore, it underscores the need to pass a common sense prohibition on this dangerous, unproven and unnecessary practice.

Cures without Cloning (CWC) is leading a broad-based, statewide coalition of grassroots organizations committed to prohibiting the cloning of human beings in Missouri. Interested citizens are invited to visit for more information.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Missourinet - "Legal Challenge to Stem Cell Summary Has Day in Court"

Yesterday there was a hearing on our legal challenge in Cole County Circuit Court. Steve Walsh has an article on the subject that gives a summary of what happened.

The legal challenge to Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's summary wording of an initiative to limit certain forms of stem cell research in Missouri has its day in court - but there could be more such days.

Attorney Eddie Greim, representing the plaintiffs led by the group Cures Without Cloning, argued before Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce that the summary is not an honest attempt to let voters know what a yes vote or a no vote would mean. He adds the signature collectors would have to spend a lot of extra time by having to explain to voters why the wording on the summary is so vastly different from the goal of the plaintiffs.

Assistant Attorney General Karen Mitchell, representing the state, argued the ballot summary is just that - a summary - and is not intended to tell all about an initiative. Mitchell insists the summary language is sufficient and fair.
The judge expects to have a ruling on at least part of the challenge by the middle of the month. If more arguments are needed, a February 20th court date has been set aside.

You can also hear his audio story here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Human Cloning Is Now a Reality

Earlier this month, it appears that researchers in California “successfully” cloned human embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage before destroying them. Below are excerpts from the New York Times article, “Cloning Said to Yield Human Embryos” by Andrew Pollack (pub. 1/18/2008)

“Scientists at the company, Stemagen, which is based in San Diego, said Thursday that they were the first to use human adult cells to create cloned embryos that advanced to the stage known as a blastocyst, from which embryonic stem cells typically are extracted…

It is not clear whether the embryos would have been viable if implanted into a womb. Stemagen did not test whether the embryos had the correct number of chromosomes. But Dr. Wood, who also is a fertility doctor, said, ’We’ve seen reproductive blastocysts that look like this or worse and they implant.’”

I know many hoped this extremely dubious scientific achievement would prove impossible but we must face the reality of a world where human cloning is possible. Now more than ever, we need to stop this unethical research and ensure our tax money does not fund human cloning experiments in Missouri.

Important Volunteer Opportunity

As all of you are aware, Missourians will head to the polls a week from today and cast their ballots in the highly contested Presidential primary.

First, I want to urge each of you to vote on February 5th and encourage your friends and family to vote as well. This is a privilege and a responsibility all too few of us exercise. It is estimated that less than 20% of Missouri registered voters will cast a ballot next Tuesday

Clearly, those who DO vote Tuesday are people we want to reach with our message. We are organizing volunteers to distribute information cards to voters exiting the polls in various areas of our state.

Please click here to help share the truth about human cloning in Missouri on February 5th. A couple hours of your time can really make a difference!

Legal Challenge Update

There are two important events looming on the horizon. The first is a hearing regarding the Cures without Cloning ballot summary scheduled for this Thursday, January 31 at 1:30pm. Any issues not resolved on the 31st, will be taken up at the February 20th trial. We have a strong case and are confident the judge will provide us with a fair and accurate ballot summary. Please look for more information following these important dates.


Like many of you, we are watching the political developments in the wake of Matt Blunt’s announcement not to run for Governor. In the coming months, I believe there will be many opportunities for those of us who oppose human cloning to be heard and help shape the leadership of our state.

State of the Union Address

President Bush, in his final State of the Union address, emphasized the remarkable scientific progress that has been made recently.
"On matters of life and science, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries. In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life.

So we're expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research. And as we explore promising avenues of research, we must also ensure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. And so I call on Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting, or cloning of human life."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Guest Post - "When Technical Progress Becomes a Threat"

Today's guest post, "When Technical Progress Becomes a Threat," was written by Chelsea Zimmerman.


I have been reading Pope Benedict’s latest encyclical, Spe Salvi, which I am surprisingly enjoying (I wasn’t sure if it would be too philosophical and intellectual for me - I have never read anything of his before). It is actually very reader friendly and insightful. Anyway, at one point he is discussing the transformation of Christian faith-hope in the modern age (16-23) and a new era that has emerged through the discovery of America and the new technical achievements that made it possible. He calls it “faith in progress” as encouraged by the 16/17th century English philosopher Francis Bacon:

“through the interplay of science and praxis, totally new discoveries will follow, a totally new world will emerge, the kingdom of man…As the ideology of progress developed further, joy at visible advances in human potential remained a continuing confirmation of faith in progress as such.” (17)

This got me thinking about those who advocate for the progress of unrestricted scientific research, morality and ethics be damned, such as Don Rubin of the Missouri Coalition for Life Saving Cures:

Those who threaten to repeal Missourians’ access to stem cell research should step back and allow scientists to conduct the work necessary to achieve the goals that I hope we all share.

But is it really progress to go forward with some scientific research when certain ethical concerns arise (such as the destruction of human embryos) that compromise its inherent “goodness” for the future of mankind?

“If technical progress is not matched by corresponding progress in man’s ethical formation, in man’s inner growth (cf. Eph 3:16; 2 Cor 4:16), then it is not progress at all, but a threat for man and for the world.” (Spe Salvi, 22)

We must progress spiritually/morally as well as technically/scientifically. This means establishing some clear moral and ethical boundaries and rejecting any technical “advancements” which cross those lines. The intentional creation and destruction of human life, through cloning and ESC research violates the inherent dignity of all human life (at any stage). To go forward with such research then is not real progress but a serious threat for man and the world. The same can be said for euthanasia, abortion and a host of other technical or societal “advancements” in our world today. Yet our modern notion of freedom is a release from the shackles of any semblance of faith or morality - at least to the extent that it might challenge our ability to do whatever we want.

If progress, in order to be progress, needs moral growth on the part of humanity, then the reason behind action and capacity for action is likewise urgently in need of integration through reason’s openness to the saving forces of faith, to the differentiation between good and evil. Only thus does reason become truly human. It becomes human only if it is capable of directing the will along the right path, and it is capable of this only if it looks beyond itself. Otherwise, man’s situation, in view of the imbalance between his material capacity and the lack of judgement in his heart, becomes a threat for him and for creation. Thus where freedom is concerned, we must remember that human freedom always requires a convergence of various freedoms. Yet this convergence cannot succeed unless it is determined by a common intrinsic criterion of measurement, which is the foundation and goal of our freedom…Reason therefore needs faith if it is to be completely itself: reason and faith need one another in order to fulfil their true nature and their mission. (23)