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Right to Recover ~ Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America presents scientific facts that challenge readers to think for themselves rather than accept political or religious views on stem cell research.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Right Works to Undermine Missouri Stem-Cell Amendment

I found this article posted on Right Wing Watch July 25, 2007 and thought I would share it with you. Kevin Eggan is mentioned in my book. Yvonne Perry, author of RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America.

Right Works to Undermine Missouri Stem-Cell Amendment

Last November, Missourians voted to amend their state constitution to put a halt to attempts by their own state legislators to ban embryonic stem-cell research. Proponents of the amendment overcame a protractedand sometimes viciousright-wing campaign, and the Religious Right was dismayed by the results: “[W]e stand on the precipice of grave judgment if America does not repent,” said Rick Scarborough, who held several rallies throughout the state. “[G]overnment should never be able to veto the inviolable dignity of human life,” wrote David Prentice of the Family Research Council, warning that “democracy devolves into tyranny.” Opponents of stem-cell research vowed to continue the fight.

In a way, they are succeeding. The Stowers Institute for Medical Research is scrapping plans to expand its Kansas City facility, citing the hostile political environment, including a number of actions in the state legislature:

Sen. Matt Bartle’s unsuccessful filibuster of the nomination of Warren Erdman to the UM system Board of Curators because of his support for embryonic stem cell research.

The failed launch of a ballot item meant to overturn voter-approved Amendment 2. The ballot item would have banned somatic cell nuclear transfer, a process deemed critical to harness embryonic stem cells for research.

The withdrawal of life science-related projects from a $350 million plan to use sold loans from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority for capital improvement projects at public colleges.

Gov. Matt Blunt’s appointment of Rep. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis, an opponent of embryonic stem cell research, to the Life Sciences Research Board.

As one scientist explained: Scientist Kevin Eggan had once considered packing up his lab at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and moving to Missouri. Now he's reluctant. "I couldn't possibly come to a place where I thought the potentially lifesaving research I want to do could become illegal," said Eggan, who works on degenerative nerve disorders like Lou Gehrig's disease.

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