Letter to the Editor

Vote could affect abortion laws

Friday, October 20, 2006

To the editor:

So much good is being accomplished from responsible use of adult and umbilical stem cells.

Two unadvertised consequences of Amendment 2 would make changes antagonistic to the values of most citizens: Section 7 of Amendment 2 forbids any governmental action that would prevent, restrict, obstruct or discourage any stem-cell research or stem-cell therapies. Here's the scenario: With the use of in-vitro fertilization and a cooperative woman, a researcher creates life, implants and then aborts for stem-cell therapies and cures. If Amendment 2 passes, this horrible practice would be out of reach of the law and legitimize this form of abortion.

Second, this section becomes a legal shield. Admit it or not, some lawsuits have forced quality controls on physicians, lawyers and others as well as pharmaceutical companies. These suits have prevented, restricted and obstructed the bad conduct. By any other name, this section is granting immunity to the researcher for harming human life, be it the cooperative woman, the unborn life or the injuries to the recipient.

A Harvard lawyer colleague of mine (Jim Cole) reviewed Amendment 2 and says: "It would be nothing but medical cannibalism to create and kill one person to take stem cells to implant into another. This initiative would nullify the Missouri abortion laws that now protect against such a crime and would write medical cannibalism into the constitution of Missouri."

Missourians are being fooled by some well-monied interests. Please vote no.

PAUL H. BERENS, Cape Girardeau