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Stem Cell Research Section
updated 6/4/2009

Statements | Documents | Links | Other Post - Articles, news, etc.

March 2009: The President's Executive Order
Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involing Human Stem Cells - March 9, 2009

Executive Order on Embryonic Stem Cells 'A Sad Victory of Politics over Science and Ethics,' Says Cardinal Rigali - March 9, 2009 USCCB News Release

Bishop Finn on President Obama's Executive Order - March 9, 2009

Colorado Bishops express disappointment over President Obama’s decision to lift restrictions on federally financed human embryonic stem cell research - March 9, 2009

WFF Statement on President Obama’s Executive Order Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells -- March 9, 2009

Statements:

Posted May 8, 2009

USCCB News Release

09-099
May 5, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Proposed NIH guidelines divorce stem cell research from ethical foundation
Innocent humans treated as commodities for body parts
Bishops call for cures ‘we can all live with’
Multi-media resources for parishes, schools on new Web page

BISHOPS URGE CATHOLICS TO CONTACT CONGRESS AND NIH: OPPOSE DESTRUCTIVE STEM CELL RESEARCH

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) launched a new “Oppose Destructive Stem Cell Research” campaign today, equipping citizens to contact Congress and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to oppose embryonic stem cell research and support ethical cures and treatments “we can all live with.” The campaign is facilitated by the USCCB’s partner organization, the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment.

Following President Obama’s March 9 executive order, the NIH proposed guidelines for federally funded research that will require destroying live human embryos for their stem cells. The draft guidelines are open for public comment through May 26.

The campaign homepage, www.usccb.org/stemcellcampaign, summarizes why the proposed guidelines are unacceptable, provides links to USCCB resources (including the bishops’ statement “On Embryonic Stem Cell Research” and multi-media resources and ads), and encourages web users to “Contact Congress & NIH Now” through an e-mail interface. Several resources are available in both English and Spanish.

The campaign site explains that the NIH guidelines “would—for the first time—use taxpayer funds to encourage the killing of embryonic human beings for their stem cells.” It continues, “Embryonic stem cell research treats innocent human beings as mere sources of body parts, as commodities for our use.”

The webpage features a video of Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, critiquing the draft guidelines.

“The Catholic bishops of the United States will be writing to Congress and the Administration about the need to restore and maintain barriers against the mistreatment of human life in the name of science, and we urge other concerned citizens to do the same,” Cardinal Rigali said.
Catholics and other citizens are urged to contact both NIH and Congress because members of Congress and the Administration have expressed interest in pursuing an even broader policy. “They want to obtain stem cells by destroying human embryos specially generated for research through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or cloning procedures – a ‘create to kill’ policy,” the campaign page explains.

Those who want to call for stem cell research and cures “we can all live with” may speak out by visiting www.usccb.org/stemcellcampaign and clicking on “Contact Congress & NIH Now.”

Posted May 7, 2009

For immediate release: Statement of Women for Faith & Family on the National Institutes of Health Draft Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research (Implementing Executive Order 13505, March 9, 2009) -- May 6, 2009

Posted April 22, 2009

USCCB News Release

09-087
April 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For first time, federal tax dollars will be used to encourage destruction of living embryonic human beings "Suffering patients and their families deserve better," says Cardinal Rigali

CARDINAL RIGALI CRITICIZES DRAFT NIH GUIDELINES FOR DESTRUCTIVE STEM CELL RESEARCH

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reacted today to new draft guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research issued late last week by the National Institutes of Health. The text of his statement follows:

New draft guidelines for federally funded stem cell research involving the destruction of human embryos, released Friday by the National Institutes of Health, mark a new chapter in divorcing biomedical research from its necessary ethical foundation. Without unconditional respect for the life of each and every member of the human race, research involving human subjects does not represent true progress. It becomes another way for some human beings to use and mistreat others for their own goals. Suffering patients and their families deserve better, through increased support for promising and ethically sound stem cell research and treatments that harm no one.

In most respects these draft guidelines reflect the policy approved but never implemented by the Clinton administration in 2000. However, the Clinton policy was limited to embryos that had been frozen, to ensure that parents had time to consider the decision to donate them for research; the new guidelines are broader in allowing destruction of newly created embryos that were never frozen, increasing the prospects for a rushed and biased consent process.

Despite supporters’ constant claim that this agenda involves only embryos that "would otherwise be discarded," the guidelines provide that the option of donating embryonic children for destructive research will be offered to parents alongside all other options, including those allowing the embryos to live. For the first time, federal tax dollars will be used to encourage destruction of living embryonic human beings for stem cell research – including human beings who otherwise would have survived and been born.

It is noteworthy that, despite calls for an even broader policy by some in Congress and the research community, the draft guidelines do not allow federally funded stem cell research using embryos specially created for research purposes by in vitro fertilization or cloning. We can hope that the NIH and Congress will continue to respect this ethical norm, and will realize that the alleged "need" for violating it is more implausible than ever due to advances in reprogramming adult cells to act like embryonic stem cells. However, congressional supporters of destructive human embryo research have already said they will pursue a more extreme policy. The Catholic bishops of the United States will be writing to Congress and the Administration about the need to restore and maintain barriers against the mistreatment of human life in the name of science, and we urge other concerned citizens to do the same.

WFF Statement on President Obama’s Executive Order Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells, March 9, 2009

USCCB News Release
09-052
March 9, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Executive Order on Embryonic Stem Cells 'A Sad Victory of Politics over Science and Ethics,' Says Cardinal Rigali

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, today called President Obama's executive order on embryonic stem cell research "a sad victory of politics over science and ethics." Under the order, for the first time in U.S. history, federal tax dollars will be used to encourage researchers to destroy live human embryos for stem cell research. Cardinal Rigali also cited a January 16 letter in which Cardinal Francis George, president of the USCCB, urged President-elect Obama not to issue such an order. Cardinal Rigali's statement follows:

"President Obama's new executive order on embryonic stem cell research is a sad victory of politics over science and ethics. This action is morally wrong because it encourages the destruction of innocent human life, treating vulnerable human beings as mere products to be harvested. It also disregards the values of millions of American taxpayers who oppose research that requires taking human life. Finally, it ignores the fact that ethically sound means for advancing stem cell science and medical treatments are readily available and in need of increased support.

"In his January 16th letter to President-elect Obama, Cardinal George, writing as President of the USCCB, cited three reasons why such destructive research is 'especially pointless at this time':

• 'First, basic research in the capabilities of embryonic stem cells can be and is being pursued using the currently eligible cell lines as well as the hundreds of lines produced with nonfederal funds since 2001.

• 'Second, recent startling advances in reprogramming adult cells into embryonic-like stem cells – hailed by the journal Science as the scientific breakthrough of the year – are said by many scientists to be making embryonic stem cells irrelevant to medical progress.

• 'Third, adult and cord blood stem cells are now known to have great versatility, and are increasingly being used to reverse serious illnesses and even help rebuild damaged organs. To divert scarce funds away from these promising avenues for research and treatment toward the avenue that is most morally controversial as well as most medically speculative would be a sad victory of politics over science.'

"If the government wants to invest in hope for cures and promote ethically sound science, it should use our tax monies for research that everyone, at every stage of human development, can live with."


Posted March 10, 2009

The Catholic Key - KC-St Joseph diocesan 'blog
http://catholickey.blogspot.com/2009/03/bishop-finn-on-president-obamas.html

Monday, March 9, 2009
Bishop Finn on President Obama's Executive Order

Kansas City - St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn issued the following statement today responding to President Barack Obama's Executive Order on Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

Statement on the President’s Order for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Most Reverend Robert W. Finn
Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph

President Barack Obama has kept another campaign promise today as he signed the executive order which will allow federal funds to be spent on
destructive human embryonic stem cell research.

I join my voice to that of other Catholic leaders, and other men and women of good will, in denouncing this newest step by the President to eventually remove all legal protections for innocent, nascent human life.

The President boldly proclaimed that he was taking the politics out of science. Rather, it seems clear that he is only asserting “his politics” over life itself.

In the Fall of 2006, we proved in Missouri that if we teach the truth about human cloning and scientific experimentation with human embryos, more and more people will reject the pretense and false hope of this still unsuccessful research.

While breakthroughs continue to be documented in adult stem cell research, taxpayer money will now be siphoned into the coffers of medical researchers to fund projects so dubious that they would never waste their own money on them. These experiments on human embryos, while they have always remained legal, have never produced any medical benefits. The thing that differentiates human embryonic stem cell research from adult stem cell research is that, with embryonic experiments, there are no results. There are no cures. The great “hope” that was promised is an illusion.

Americans should urge the Congress to appropriate no money for such research. Missourians should urge their Missouri Legislature to quickly pass The Taxpayer Protection Amendment (SJR 17), to prevent Missouri tax-dollars from paying for these destructive experiments.


Posted March 10, 2009

Colorado Bishops
PRESS RELEASE

Colorado Bishops express disappointment over President Obama’s decision to lift restrictions on federally financed human embryonic stem cell research

Source: http://www.cocatholicconference.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=1 (Broken Link)

March 9, 2009

We are deeply disappointed to learn of President Obama’s decision, via executive order, to lift restrictions on federally financed human embryonic stem cell research.

President Obama’s support for embryonic stem cell research is filled with moral complications and will further erode respect for the dignity of all human life.

Embryonic stem cells derive from the living bodies of human embryos. The embryos are killed by the process; thus this type of research involves the wrongful destruction of innocent, developing life. Human dignity can never benefit from this kind of lethal exploitation. To destroy human embryos for research purposes implies that some lives have more value than others, and that we may sacrifice some lives today so that future generations will benefit. This kind of reasoning is inherently dangerous. Whatever President Obama’s intentions, it is not morally acceptable to do evil hoping that good may eventually result from it.

Respect for all human life – including human embryos – should guide all scientific research involving human subjects, as well as the legislative and executive branches of government that decide the funding of medical research.

As a nation, we possess the skill and scientific creativity to develop cures for diseases in a way that respects human life in the process. Despite media enthusiasm and frequent scientific promises, to date no clinical treatments have derived from embryonic stem cells. Meanwhile, adult stem cell research -- which poses no intrinsic ethical problems -- already does provide treatments for more than 70 different medical conditions.

We urge President Obama to reexamine his damaging change of course on this issue. We ask that all people of good will work to foster a culture that respects the dignity of all human life, from its very beginning to its natural end.


Posted October 23, 2008

How shall I cast my vote?
A letter from Bishop Boyea

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This pro-life month of October is a good time for me to offer the following reflections. To be a bishop is to be a teacher, offering principles to help Catholics form their consciences as they fulfill their duty as citizens to vote. The following guidelines are intended for educational purposes only. This is not intended to endorse or oppose any particular candidate or political party, though it does oppose Proposal 2, the destructive constitutional amendment allowing unlimited research on live human embryos, which appears on this fall’s ballot. It is my hope that these principles will show how human reason and our Catholic faith shape our thinking, choosing and acting in daily life.

THE DUTY TO VOTE
• Catholics have the same rights and duties as other citizens, but are called to carry them out not according to worldly standards, but in the light of the truth of faith and human reason.

• In a democratic society, citizens vote on proposals and elect candidates for the common good. These choices can significantly affect many lives, especially the lives of the most vulnerable persons in society, such as young human embryos, children in the womb and those who are terminally ill. Therefore, Catholic citizens have a serious moral obligation to exercise their right to vote. What is more, we have a duty to vote guided by a well-formed conscience.

FORMATION OF CONSCIENCE
• Conscience is the means by which we discern the law “written” by God on our hearts that disposes us to love and to do good and avoid evil (cf. Romans 2:12-16). We have a serious duty to follow our consciences. To act against the judgment of conscience when it is certain about what is good and evil has the same seriousness as disobeying God. However, it is important to remember that it is possible for our conscience to be wrongly formed regarding what is good and evil.

• For this reason, we have an equally serious duty to form or teach our consciences properly so that we can judge what is good and evil accurately. We are obliged to seek the truth and then to abide by it. Catholics receive direction in this life-long process from the teachings of the church on matters pertaining to faith and morals. We rely on the help of the Holy Spirit to apply these teachings to particular issues.

AREAS OF PRUDENTIAL JUDGMENT
• In some moral matters, the use of reason allows for legitimate diversity in our individual prudential judgments. Within certain parameters, Catholic voters may differ, for example, on what constitutes the best immigration or health care or housing policies. Catholics may even have differing judgments on the decision to wage a just war. Therefore, because these prudential judgments do not involve the direct choice of something evil and take into consideration various goods, it is possible for Catholic voters to arrive at different, even opposing, views.

FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
• Notwithstanding a possible diversity of prudential judgments, each of us should guide our decision making on all issues with a fundamental respect for the dignity of every human being from the moment of conception to natural death. This is a non-negotiable principle. It is the foundation for a just society and of Catholic social teaching. Respect for human dignity is the basis for the fundamental right to life. It is also the basis for all those things needed to live with dignity – for example, work, fair wages, food, shelter, education, health care, security and migration. But these other basic human needs lose all meaning and purpose if the fundamental right to life – the right to exist – is denied. Because of respect for the dignity of the human person, Catholics are obliged to come to the aid and defense of the defenseless, especially the poor. Another guiding principle is the defense and promotion of marriage as the lifelong bond between one man and one woman for the building up of family life.

SOME THINGS ARE ALWAYS EVIL
• A correct conscience recognizes that there are some choices that always involve doing evil and that can never be done even as a means to achieve a good end. These choices include elective abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, destruction of young human embryos, human cloning and same-sex “marriage.” Such acts are judged to be intrinsically evil; that is, evil in and of themselves, regardless of the motives of those who promote these ideas. They constitute an attack against innocent human life, as well as against the very nature of marriage and family.

• Other examples of choices that always involve doing evil would be racial discrimination and the production and use of pornography. These actions offend the fundamental dignity of the human person.

• Concerning choices that are intrinsically evil, no one with a well-formed conscience, especially a Catholic, may promote or even remain indifferent to them.

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL PROPOSAL
• Currently, successful scientific research is being done on adult stem cells, which the church supports and encourages because this scientific work does not involve the killing of young humans in the embryonic stage. However, on the ballot this fall in Michigan, Proposal 2 would encourage the killing of human embryos. Even if a great good, such as the cure of diseases, could be achieved by this process, the good end or goal never justifies a deliberate attack on innocent human life. In addition, this proposal is too open-ended. The last clause reads: “Prohibits state and local laws that prevent, restrict, or discourage stem cell research, future therapies, or cures.” It is unimaginable to put into our state constitution a ban on the ability of the legislature or local governments to place any controls on this or any other industry. Proposal 2 goes too far. It could allow researchers to do all kinds of experiments on embryos and on genes. No one, with a well-formed conscience, can vote for such a proposal. We simply must find other ways, such as adult stem-cell research, to reach these good goals.

VOTING FOR CANDIDATES
• In light of the above, we would commit moral evil if we were to vote for a candidate who takes a permissive stand on those actions that are intrinsically evil when there is a morally acceptable alternative. What are we to do, though, when there is no such alternative?

• Because we have a moral obligation to vote, deciding not to vote at all is not ordinarily an acceptable solution to this dilemma. So, when there is no choice of a candidate that avoids supporting intrinsically evil actions, especially elective abortion or embryonic stem-cell research, we should vote in such a way as to allow the least harm to innocent human life and dignity. We would not be acting immorally, therefore, if we were to vote for a candidate whose positions on these issues are not totally acceptable in order to defeat one who poses an even greater threat to human life and dignity.

VOTING IS A MORAL ACT
• Our duty is to vote in keeping with a conscience properly formed by fundamental moral principles. As your bishop, I am not telling you to vote for or against any candidate. Rather, I wish to assist in the forming of correct consciences and to invite a consideration of the issues in the light of these fundamental moral principles. In this month of October, may Our Lady of the Holy Rosary guide us to fulfill our duty in good conscience.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing
October 2008

USCCB News Release

08-141
September 30, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cardinal Rigali Urges Respect for Human Life, Opposition to 'Freedom of Choice' Act

WASHINGTON-In a statement to mark Respect Life Sunday, October 5, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia urged Catholics "to help build a culture in which every human life without exception is respected and defended."

"Let us rededicate ourselves to defending the basic rights of those who are weakest and most marginalized: the poor, the homeless, the innocent unborn, and the frail and elderly who need our respect and our assistance," he said.

Cardinal Rigali chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Cardinal Rigali cited encouraging trends that "most Americans favor banning all abortion or permitting it only in very rare cases," and that the U.S. abortion rate declined 26 percent between 1989 and 2004, with a 58 percent decline among girls under 18. He also addressed the threat posed by "FOCA," a federal "Freedom of Choice Act" which, he said, "if enacted, would obliterate virtually all the gains of the past 35 years and cause the abortion rate to skyrocket."

"We cannot allow this to happen. We cannot tolerate an even greater loss of innocent human lives. We cannot subject more women and men to the post-abortion grief and suffering that our counselors and priests encounter daily in Project Rachel programs across America," Cardinal Rigali said.

He hailed therapeutic successes using adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood.

"The Catholic Church strongly supports promising and ethically sound stem cell research - and strongly opposes killing week-old human embryos, or human beings at any stage, to extract their stem cells," he said.

Cardinal Rigali also noted the continuing need to protect vulnerable patients at the end of life. Legalizing physician-assisted suicide, as proposed in a Washington State ballot initiative this November, would "betray the ideal of America as a compassionate society honoring the inherent worth of every human being."

The Respect Life program, begun in 1972, stresses the value and dignity of human life. It is observed in the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States. This year's theme is "Hope and Trust in Life!" The full statement follows.

STATEMENT FOR RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY
Cardinal Justin F. Rigali
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro-life Activities
September 30, 2008

On October 5, 2008, Catholics across the United States will again celebrate Respect Life Sunday. Throughout the month of October, Catholic parishes and organizations will sponsor hundreds of educational conferences, prayer services, and opportunities for public witness, as well as events to raise funds for programs assisting those in need. Such initiatives are integral to the Church's ongoing effort to help build a culture in which every human life without exception is respected and defended.

Education and advocacy during Respect Life Month address a broad range of moral and public policy issues. Among these, the care of persons with disabilities and those nearing the end of life is an enduring concern. Some medical ethicists wrongly promote ending the lives of patients with serious physical and mental disabilities by withdrawing their food and water, even though - or in some cases precisely because - they are not imminently dying. This November, the citizens of Washington State will vote on a ballot initiative to legalize doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. In neighboring Oregon, where assisted suicide is already legal, the state has refused to cover the cost of life-sustaining treatments for some patients facing terminal illness, while callously informing them that Oregon will pay for suicide pills. Such policies betray the ideal of America as a compassionate society honoring the inherent worth of every human being.

Embryonic stem cell research also presents grave ethical concerns. The Catholic Church strongly supports promising and ethically sound stem cell research - and strongly opposes killing week-old human embryos, or human beings at any stage, to extract their stem cells. We applaud the remarkable therapeutic successes that have been achieved using stem cells from cord blood and adult tissues. We vigorously oppose initiatives, like the one confronting Michigan voters in November, that would endorse the deliberate destruction of developing human beings for embryonic stem cell research.

Turning to abortion, we note that most Americans favor banning all abortion or permitting it only in very rare cases (danger to the mother's life or cases of rape or incest). Also encouraging is the finding of a recent Guttmacher Institute study that the U.S. abortion rate declined 26% between 1989 and 2004. The decline was steepest, 58%, among girls under 18. An important factor in this trend is that teens increasingly are choosing to remain abstinent until their late teens or early 20s. Regrettably, when they do become sexually active prior to marrying, many become pregnant and choose abortion - the abortion rate increased among women aged 20 and older between 1974 and 2004, although the rate is now gradually declining.

Today, however, we face the threat of a federal bill that, if enacted, would obliterate virtually all the gains of the past 35 years and cause the abortion rate to skyrocket. The "Freedom of Choice Act" ("FOCA") has many Congressional sponsors, some of whom have pledged to act swiftly to help enact this proposed legislation when Congress reconvenes in January.

FOCA establishes abortion as a "fundamental right" throughout the nine months of pregnancy, and forbids any law or policy that could "interfere" with that right or "discriminate" against it in public funding and programs. If FOCA became law, hundreds of reasonable, widely supported, and constitutionally sound abortion regulations now in place would be invalidated. Gone would be laws providing for informed consent, and parental consent or notification in the case of minors. Laws protecting women from unsafe abortion clinics and from abortion practitioners who are not physicians would be overridden. Restrictions on partial-birth and other late-term abortions would be eliminated. FOCA would knock down laws protecting the conscience rights of nurses, doctors, and hospitals with moral objections to abortion, and force taxpayers to fund abortions throughout the United States.

We cannot allow this to happen. We cannot tolerate an even greater loss of innocent human lives. We cannot subject more women and men to the post-abortion grief and suffering that our counselors and priests encounter daily in Project Rachel programs across America.

For twenty-four years, the Catholic Church has provided free, confidential counseling to individuals seeking emotional and spiritual healing after an abortion, whether their own or a loved one's. We look forward to the day when these counseling services are no longer needed, when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law. If FOCA is enacted, however, that day may recede into the very distant future.

In this Respect Life Month, let us rededicate ourselves to defending the basic rights of those who are weakest and most marginalized: the poor, the homeless, the innocent unborn, and the frail and elderly who need our respect and our assistance. In this and in so many ways we will truly build a culture of life.


USCCB News Release
08-127
September 5, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bishops’ Pro-Life Office Debuts Stem Cell Research, Abortion Ad

WASHINGTON--The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is offering dioceses and others print ads on stem cell research and abortion.

One newly created ad highlights scientific advances that are making the use of human embryonic stem cells obsolete and calls attention to the development of “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells” (iPSCs). These are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells, derived from ordinary body cells and so can be obtained without destroying human embryos.  Picturing a commuter running for a train, the ad asks: “Science is moving on. Isn’t it time for public policy to get on board?”

A second ad on stem cell research features advances already being made to treat patients with adult stem cells and directs readers to www.stemcellresearch.org for more information. Its tagline is: “Adult Stem Cell Research. Let’s Find Cures We Can All Live With.”

A third ad underscores the extreme nature of current abortion policy under Roe v. Wade: “The human heart begins to beat at 22 days. Roe v. Wade says a doctor can stop it for the next 244….Have we gone too far?” The full-color ad directs readers to www.secondlookproject.org for more information on abortion law.

The final ad, newly designed, calls on Congress to “Pledge now to oppose FOCA” -- the “Freedom of Choice Act,” that is designed to mandate taxpayer funding of abortion and eliminate virtually all current laws regulating abortion. The ad features the eye-catching graphic of a red octagonal sign with the word “GO” instead of “STOP,” and reads: “You can’t reduce abortions by promoting abortions. If you agree, oppose the ‘Freedom of Choice Act’.”

The ads appeared first in the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, which wasdistributed at the Democratic Convention in Denver, and at the Republican Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul. 

The ads are available at http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/. Catholic dioceses and other pro-life groups nationwide may download and print the unaltered ads free of charge.

For further information, please contact: Deirdre McQuade, Assistant Director for Policy & Communications at 202-541-3070.

Source: http://old.usccb.org/comm/archives/2008/08-127.shtml


USCCB: On Embryonic Stem Cell Research: A Statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, June 13, 2008 [links to USCCB website, pdf file]

Wisconsin Catholic Bishops: April 2008
Serving All and Sacrificing None:Ethical Stem Cell Research Resources -- Broken Link

USCCB: Statement of US Bishops on New Stem-cell Breakthrough, November 20, 2007

USCCB: Cardinal Rigali Commends President Bush for Veto of Destructive Embryo Research Bill, June 20, 2007

USCCB: USCCB Official Comments on Approval of Bill to Fund Stem Cell Research Requiring the Destruction of Human Embryos, June 7, 2007

USCCB: Cardinal Rigali Urges House To Reject Two Federal Bills Promoting Taxpayer-Funded Destruction Of Human Embryos 6/6/07

North Carolina:A call to action -- Bishop Jugis, Bishop Burbidge call on N.C. Catholics to fight embryonic stem-cell research legislation & Bishop Michael F. Burbidge Asks Catholics to Become Informed on Stem Cell Issue 1/16/2007 (Links Broken)

Missouri Passes Constitutional Right to Human Cloning - November 8, 2006 -- Missouri Catholic Conference - Broken link

Statement of Archbishop Raymond Burke on the Occasion of the Passage of Amendment 2, November 8, 2006. -- Broken Link

Statement of Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, Bishop of Kansas City - St. Joseph. On the Passage of Constitutional Amendment 2 by Missouri Voters, November 8, 2006 - Broken Link

Statement from Jaci Winship, executive director, Missourians Against Human Cloning, November 8, 2006. - Broken Link

Documents:

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE SYMPOSIUM ON THE THEME: "STEM CELLS: WHAT FUTURE FOR THERAPY?" ORGANIZED BY THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE, Hall of the Swiss, Castel Gandolfo, Saturday, 16 September 2006

Pope's speech from Feb 2006 to Pontifical Academy for Life meeting on "The human embryo in the pre-implantation phase"

Document of the Holy See on Human Cloning

PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE , DECLARATION ON THE PRODUCTION AND THE SCIENTIFIC AND THERAPEUTIC USE OF HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

Links:
Don't sign a life away (broken link - dontsignalifeaway.org)
Missouri Catholic Conference
Missourians against Human Cloning - Broken links
Rosary Crusade - Broken link
Stem Cell Research Facts
MO Cures without Cloning - Broken link

Other Post - Articles, news, etc.

Posted June 4, 2009

US Bishops on Embryonic Stem Cells, Vol. XXIV, No. 2
Pentecost 2009

Posted March 10, 2009

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
March 9, 2009

EXECUTIVE ORDER
REMOVING BARRIERS TO RESPONSIBLE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN STEM CELLS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Research involving human embryonic stem cells and human non-embryonic stem cells has the potential to lead to better understanding and treatment of many disabling diseases and conditions. Advances over the past decade in this promising scientific field have been encouraging, leading to broad agreement in the scientific community that the research should be supported by Federal funds.

For the past 8 years, the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to fund and conduct human embryonic stem cell research has been limited by Presidential actions. The purpose of this order is to remove these limitations on scientific inquiry, to expand NIH support for the exploration of human stem cell research, and in so doing to enhance the contribution of America's scientists to important new discoveries and new therapies for the benefit of humankind.

Sec. 2. Research. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law.

Sec. 3. Guidance. Within 120 days from the date of this order, the Secretary, through the Director of NIH, shall review existing NIH guidance and other widely recognized guidelines on human stem cell research, including provisions establishing appropriate safeguards, and issue new NIH guidance on such research that is consistent with this order. The Secretary, through NIH, shall review and update such guidance periodically, as appropriate.

Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 5. Revocations. (a) The Presidential statement of August 9, 2001, limiting Federal funding for research involving human embryonic stem cells, shall have no further effect as a statement of governmental policy.

(b) Executive Order 13435 of June 20, 2007, which supplements the August 9, 2001, statement on human embryonic stem cell research, is revoked.

BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 9, 2009

Posted September 11, 2008

Bishop Slattery Issues Response to Pelosi, Biden Abortion Remarks
Diocese of Tulsa News
9/09/2008 - EOC Staff

In recent weeks, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Joe Biden have been asked by Tom Brokaw on "Meet the Press" to explain their personal opinions on the question of “When does Human Life Begin?” The essence of their views, which they both claim are developed from their experience as Catholics, is first, that the tradition is inconsistent (Pelosi), and second, that even if it is clear, it is a matter of personal faith which, in a democracy, ought not be imposed on others (Biden). Having made their views public, and by presenting themselves as Catholics, both Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Biden have invited a discussion about the legitimacy of their views.

I, and other bishops, have already stated that Speaker Pelosi’s position is clearly inconsistent with Catholic teaching, and to promote such a view is scandalous. There are many witnesses in the tradition that clearly state the Catholic view in opposition to Speaker Pelosi.

In view of the absolute duty that we all have of protecting innocent human life, it is also necessary to respond publicly to Sen. Biden’s remarks. In his interview, Sen. Biden explained that although he was prepared as a matter of faith to accept the teaching that life begins at the moment of conception, it would be wrong in a pluralistic society to impose that judgment on everyone else, who may be just as ardent as he is in their own faith. He remarked that abortion is “a personal and private issue.”

Sen. Biden’s remarks reflect two erroneous beliefs. It is plainly false to assert that the answer to the question of when human life begins is limited to the realm of personal and private faith and that therefore there is no basis for preferring one position over another. While it is true that Christian revelation provides a framework for understanding human nature, there is also biological evidence on when human life begins, that all persons of good will, and not just Christians, may examine. Also, the division that Sen. Biden creates between privacy and social responsibility is tenuous. He supposes that social responsibility ends at the point that we turn the decision over to individuals.

Modern science clearly proves that human life begins at conception. At the moment when DNA from the mother and the father combine, a new, unique human being, who will develop continuously until death, is created. From then on, the early zygote functions as a human being. It has specifically human enzymes and proteins, and, over time, it develops complex human tissues and organs. After this genetic transfer, it can never develop into any other kind of being. Even as it develops through the process of pregnancy, the human nature of the zygote, embryo, fetus, or baby never changes. It is this nature that directs and causes the miraculous physical transformation that takes place during the pregnancy.

In fact, the desire of some persons to destroy embryos in order to harvest stem cells is dependent upon the reality that they are already biologically human. Sen. Biden’s support for increased federal funding of embryonic stem cell research would therefore be at odds with his stated belief that life begins at conception. Contrary to some misconceptions, the early human embryo is not a vague collection of tissues without specificity. In fact the exact opposite is true. The first cells of this new human being contain all of the information that will guide its development throughout life. The process of embryonic and fetal development involves “switching off” the complete power of the early cells so that they only take on one function, like being a heart cell.

While there are some members of our society who would like to define this biological human being as someone who does not share our basic human rights, such as the right to its own existence, this is a dangerous path. We, as a human society, have gone this way before, with disastrous results. Inevitably, it ends with the act of murdering those whom we objectify, as we have seen with the lynching of African Americans, or the Holocaust, or the countless other genocides of the 20th century. Whenever we treat another human being as an object, a thing, that we may do with as we please, rather than as a human person made in the image and likeness of God, we diminish, and inevitably destroy that being, and ourselves.

It is also paradoxical to suggest that by throwing the cloak of “privacy” over the act of abortion, that individual choice can transform an evil act into something that is good, or even tolerable. If, as Sen. Biden believes, human life begins at conception, it is difficult to see how that view can be reconciled with the position that we, as a society, should legally allow individual persons to decide on their own if murder is wrong.

The modern day notion of “privacy” assumes that there is a neat division between the individual who makes a decision, and the rest of the human community. A “private” decision is one that is limited to the individual. However, in the case of abortion, this decision has implications not only for the mother, but also for the father, both of their immediate families, and, in fact, for all of our society. The mother and the father lose a child, the family a niece or nephew, or grandchild, and the rest of us, a companion in life. How we protect, or ignore, these smallest members of our human community defines who we are as human persons.

A democracy, in order to flourish, must attend to the defense of the values that are essential to the human community. Ignoring this hard work and simply relegating abortion to the sphere of individual choice allows a cancer to eat at our very core, as we permit some human persons to sacrifice the lives of others for their own personal reasons. As Catholics, we cannot accept the premise that in the name of “privacy” all choices are equally right.

Sen. Biden has opposed federal funding of abortions and backed the ban on partial birth abortions, and for that he should be commended. Yet, his justification for continuing to allow Roe v. Wade to stand as the law of the United States is incompatible with Catholic teaching.

Once an evil is truly seen for what it is, neither can an emphasis on “privacy” excuse one’s moral responsibility to act to stop it, nor can defining murder as a “right to choose” change what it is that is actually chosen.

Trusting always in the protection of Our Blessed Lady, whose immaculate womb first tabernacled the Word made Flesh, and asking for your prayers, I am

In Domino

Edward J. Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa

Posted June 10, 2008

USCCB News Release
08-086
June 9, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bishops To Vote On Embryonic Stem Cell Research Statement At Spring Meeting

WASHINGTON—U.S. Catholic bishops, convening June 12-14 in Orlando, Florida at their semi-annual spring meeting, will vote on a proposed statement concerning embryonic stem cell research. If approved, this statement will be the first formal statement issued by the bishops devoted exclusively to this issue.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been prominent in the national debate on stem cell research for many years. Conference officials have offered public statements, testimony and letters to Congress on the issue and many individual bishops and state conferences of bishops have spoken out, especially in the context of state legislation and ballot initiatives. The Catholic Church’s moral position against destroying human embryos for research is also stated briefly in other documents by the full body of bishops (e.g., Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship in November 2007).

The statement on embryonic stem cell research is devoted to the question whether researchers, with or without government funds, are ethically justified in destroying human embryos to obtain stem cells for research and possible future treatments. The bishops firmly answer this question in the negative, respond to several arguments used in the public debate to justify such destruction, and explain how an initial decision to destroy so-called “spare” embryos for this research leads to far broader ethical abuses, including new risks to women of child-bearing age.

Approval of this statement requires support by two-thirds of the USCCB’s members.

The bishops’ spring meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress hotel in Orlando, Florida. To request media credentials or information, contact the USCCB Department of Communications at 202-541-3200.

Posted May 8, 2008

Ethical stem cell research
Wisconsin Catholic bishops issue letter

The Catholic Herald online, May 1, 2008

Posted October 5, 2007

Stem-Cell Briefing Sent to Catholic Homes: Michigan Bishops Aim to Educate the Faithful -- Zenit, October 3, 2007

A packet of information about the Church's stance on stem cells is being delivered to every Catholic home in Michigan that's registered with a parish.

A letter signed by the state's diocesan bishops, a 12-minute DVD, and a brochure explaining the Church's support for adult stem cell research are being sent out as part of the Michigan Catholic Conference's "The Science of Stem Cells: Finding Cures and Protecting Life" campaign.

Click title for complete story.

Posted September 10, 2007

The Word Game is Up; Time for a True Cloning Ban, by Colleen Carroll Campbell

Posted September 4, 2007

Missourians Launch Campaign to Prohibit Human Cloning: Initiative Would Protect Proven Cures and Treatments, Michaelmas 2007, Vol. XXII, No. 3

Posted August 22, 2007

http://www.mocureswithoutcloning.com/ -- Broken link

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    CONTACT:  Curt Mercadante 
August 22, 2007      (314) 825-4478 

Missourians  Launch  Campaign  to  Prohibit  Human  Cloning  

Initiative  Would  Protect  Proven  Cures  and  Treatments  

JEFFERSON  CITY,  MO  –  A  coalition  of  concerned  Missouri  citizens,  doctors,  and  academics  today  launched  the  “Cures  Without  Cloning”  (CWC)  initiative  to  prohibit  human  cloning  in  Missouri.    Dr.  Lori  Buffa,  of  St.  Peters,  Missouri,  filed  proposed  ballot  language  with  the  Secretary  of  State’s  office  this  morning.  

“The  Missouri  Constitution  currently  allows  for  human  cloning.   It  allows  for  the  same  cloning  method  that  created  Dolly  the  Sheep,”  said  Dr.  Buffa,  who  serves  as  chair  of  CWC.   “This  initiative  will  ensure  this  dangerous,  unproven,  unnecessary  practice  is  prohibited,  and  allow  us  to  focus  on  safe  research  that  leads  to  lifesaving  cures  and  treatments.”    

The  initiative  would  amend  the  Missouri  Constitution  to  prohibit  the  practice  of  human  cloning,  and  would  prohibit  taxpayer  funding  of  human  cloning  experiments.   Specifically,  the  coalition  is  seeking  to  place  the  following  language  in  the  Missouri  constitution:  

Section  38(e)   1.   It  shall  be  unlawful  to  clone  or  attempt  to  clone  a  human  being.   Researchers  may  conduct  stem  cell  research  to  discover  cures  for  disease  and  develop  stem  cell  therapies  and  cures,  provided  that  the  research  complies  with  the  limitations  of  this  section  and,  in  addition,  the  limitations  of  Section  38(d).   

2.   For  all  purposes  within  this  constitution:  

(1)  “Clone  or  attempt  to  clone  a  human  being”  includes  the  creation  of  or  the  attempt  to  create,  by  means  other  than  fertilization  of  a  human  egg  with  human  sperm,  a  new  human  organism  that  is  virtually  identical  genetically  to  an  existing  or  previously  existing  human  organism  or  human  orgnisms.    

(2)   “Human  organism”  means  human  life  in  any  stage.   Human  life  begins  with  an  initial  stage,  when  a  single  human  egg  cell  receives  a  complete  set  of  forty-six  chromosomes,  and  continues  through  any  subsequent  stages  of  embryonic,  fetal,  postnatal,  and  later  development.  

3.   No  taxpayer  dollars  shall  be  expended:

(1)  to  clone  or  attempt  to  clone  a  human  being;  or  

(2)  to  research  or  experiment  using  a  human  organism,  or  any  part  of  a  human  organism,  derived  from  cloning  or  attempting  to  clone  a  human  being.

“As  a  doctor,  I  have  grave  concerns  about  experimentation  with  human  cloning.   It  is  unproven,  dangerous,  and  outside  the  mainstream  of  society,”  said  Dr.  Buffa.   “We  should  continue  to  search  for  cures  and  treatments  using  stem  cell  research.   And  we  should  embrace  the  exciting  promise  of  cures  and  treatments  that  proven,  safe  research  can  bring  - and  we  should  do  so  by  resoundingly  rejecting  the  practice  of  human  cloning.”  

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  www.MOcureswithoutcloning.com  for  more  information.    

Posted June 12, 2007

Stem cell debate a question of conscience
By Cardinal George Pell
June 10, 2007 01:00am
Article from: News.com.au

"The Catholic Church supports adult stem cell research and remains opposed to the destruction of human life at any stage after conception.

"Embryonic stem cell research requires such destruction.

"While I regret the Legislative Assembly passed the cloning bill and hope the Legislative Council will decide differently, we all accept the parliament makes the laws.

"Some supporters of the cloning bill made little attempt to argue that it was right to create and then destroy human embryos, but claimed that this evil was outweighed by the cures for diseases which would follow.

"This is not a justifiable line of argumentation, but the promised cures have nowhere materialised from embryos.

"Seventy-two diseases and conditions have been helped by stem cells, but they were all adult stem cells.

...

"A few intolerant politicians want to ban religious argument in public life, so that the only permissible reasoning will be irreligious or anti-religious.

"A few politicians, trumpeted their Catholicity as they publicly rejected Catholic teachings; this is not good logic.

...

"All Catholics who continue to reject important Catholic teachings - even in areas such as sexuality, family, marriage, abortion, euthanasia, cloning where "liberals" claim the primacy of conscience rules - should expect to be confronted, gently and consistently, rather than comforted and encouraged in their wrongdoing.

"Certainly, every Catholic politician who voted for this bill should think twice and examine his or her conscience before next receiving Communion.

Click title for the complete article

Posted April 13, 2007

AP in USA Today - Bush calls for 'culture of life'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush, at the national Catholic prayer breakfast, stressed his opposition to easing restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, a reference to a bill he's threatened to veto.

"In our day there is a temptation to manipulate life in ways that do not respect the humanity of the person," Bush said Friday. "When that happens, the most vulnerable among us can be valued for their utility to others instead of their own inherent worth."

The Senate on Wednesday voted 63-34 to pass the measure that it hopes will lead to new medical treatments. The vote, however, fell short of a veto-proof margin needed to enact the law over Bush's objections. The House is expected to approve a similar measure in the weeks ahead.

"We must continue to work for a culture of life where the strong protect the weak and where we recognize in every human life the image of our creator," Bush said.

Posted April 11, 2007

Cardinal Rigali Urges Senate to Reject Stem Cell Legislation Promoting Destruction of Human Life

WASHINGTON (April 5, 2007)— As the U.S. Senate prepared to vote on federal funding of stem cell research next week, Cardinal Justin Rigali urged Senators to reject legislation (S. 5) which would promote the destruction of human embryos to obtain their stem cells. “With enactment of such legislation, federal law would for the first time force taxpayers to encourage deliberate attacks on innocent human life in the name of medical progress,” the Cardinal said.

Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, is Chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

In a letter to the Senate (April 4), Cardinal Rigali emphasized that the stem cell issue is not a matter of supporting versus opposing progress.

“The question is whether our technical progress is guided by an equally advanced sense of the dignity of each and every human life, so our technology becomes a servant to humanity and not our cruel master,” the Cardinal wrote. “As Pope Benedict XVI said to stem cell researchers in Rome last September, research that relies on ‘the planned suppression of human beings who already exist, even if they have not yet been born,’ is ‘not truly at the service of humanity.’”

“On a practical level, embryonic stem cell research has been as disappointing in its results as it has been divisive to our society,” Cardinal Rigali continued. “Problems such as uncontrollable growth and tumor formation have forced researchers to conclude that it may take a decade or more of very expensive research even to determine whether embryonic stem cells may someday be used to treat a human condition.” .... (rest of story on USCCB web site)

Posted April 4, 2007

Update: Missouri – Damage Control on Amendment 2

Last November 7, a proposal to amend the Missouri state Constitution to permit all stem cell research, passed by a very narrow margin. Many voters were not aware that the complex language of the proposed Amendment 2 would make it impossible to control support of this research -- specifically including embryonic stem-cell research -- and that they had just voted in favor of cloning for research. The Amendment narrowly defined cloning as the implantation of a cloned embryo for the purpose of “creating” a fully developed cloned human being. Thus the creation of cloned embryos in order to be destroyed for research purposes was fully permissible.

The narrow margin by which Missouri Amendment 2 passed (51%) after an intense and deceptive stem-cell industry advertising blitz in the months preceding the election, was largely due to a grassroots effort to inform Missouri voters of the actual implications of the Amendment. The Catholic bishops of Missouri, the Missouri State Catholic Conference, and Catholic pro-life individuals and organizations, strenuously opposed the amendment -- in statements, lectures, publications,  and one-on-one conversations. An ad hoc group, Missourians Against Human Cloning, also formed to address the Amendment’s complicated and confusing language, particularly the deliberately misleading definition of cloning.  After Amendment 2 was passed,  efforts to address the serious loopholes in the Missouri Constitution were begun immediately.

In December, a Joint Resolution of the Senate and House was introduced by Senator Matt Bartle (R-Lee’s Summit) and Representative Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis) to provide a genuine ban on human cloning, known as HJR 11. (See text below)  As the Missouri Catholic Conference stated on its web site: “Missouri citizens were stripped of their right to vote on a ban on human cloning through the deceptive language of Amendment 2 which allows human cloning in Missouri. HJR 11 will give voters the opportunity to vote on whether or nor to allow human cloning in Missouri without any deceptive language, and still support ethical stem cell research.

“No Human Cloning” rally, Resolution progress
On March 7th, about 1,000 people gathered in the Rotunda of the State Capitol to rally for a real ban on human cloning. The ""No Human Cloning Rally" was one of the largest ever held at the Capitol. Featured speakers were Senator Matt Bartle and Representative Jim Lembke, sponsors of legislation which would place before Missouri voters the opportunity to close the loopholes created by Amendment 2. Rep. Lembke announced his effort to move HJR 11 out of the Health Care Policy Committee where it had been stalled. Other speakers at the rally were St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, Dr. David Prentice, Representative Belinda Harris, and Pastor Rick Scarborough.

By March 27, there was promising news. HJR 11 was voted to “do pass” from the House Health Care Policy Committee where it had been stalled. It is now in the House Rules Committee, which can either send it back to the Health Care Policy Committee or affirm the “do pas” vote, and send it to the House floor for debate.

It is important that this Resolution go forward -- and not only for Missourians. The sweeping moral and ethical implications of the issues involved affect our entire society, and similar legislation involving experimentation on human embryos will inevitably surface in various forms throughout the country.

http://www.house.mo.gov/bills071/biltxt/intro/HJR0011I.htm - Broken link

FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11
94TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES LEMBKE (Sponsor), BEARDEN, SANDER, MOORE, ONDER, DAVIS, EMERY, DIXON, NIEVES, WOOD, PORTWOOD, DAY, BROWN (30), SCHOELLER, MUNZLINGER, BIVINS, SMITH (150), DEEKEN, BAKER (123), COOPER (155), McGHEE, DENISON, ICET, MUSCHANY, KELLY, JONES (89), COX, RUZICKA, FRANZ, WRIGHT, LOEHNER, FISHER, KINGERY, SCHAD, FUNDERBURK, WELLS, POLLOCK, VIEBROCK, HARRIS (110), QUINN (9), STEVENSON, BRUNS, SCHIEFFER, SCHARNHORST, QUINN (7), SUTHERLAND, FAITH AND JONES (117) (Co-sponsors).

Read 1st time January 22, 2007 and copies ordered printed. - D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk 0923L.02I

JOINT RESOLUTION

Submitting to the qualified voters of Missouri, an amendment to article III of the Constitution of Missouri relating to human cloning.

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:

That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2008, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article III of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:

Section A. Article III, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 38(e), to read as follows:

Section 38(e). 1. The general assembly may enact laws concerning health care research, including controlling taxation, appropriations, and use of public resources for health care research, and regulating research that could pose a risk to human life or health.

2. It is unlawful to engage in human cloning. For the purposes of this section and section 38(d) of this article, "human cloning" means the creation of a human zygote, human blastocyst, or human embryo by any means other than the fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.

3. The provisions of this section supersede any provision of section 38(d) of this article that is inconsistent with this section.

Posted January 8, 2007

SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION ON HUMAN CLONING FUNDING?

Your calls, letters and e-mails opposing taxpayer funding for human cloning and other unethical life science experiments are having their effect. Governor Matt Blunt has announced that he may call a special session to run concurrent with the regular session, which convenes January 3, 2007, to consider legislation to sell assets of the state student loan fund to provide funding for various life science projects on state college campuses. By calling this unheard of special session concurrent with the regular legislative session, Governor Blunt is seeking to head off the growing opposition to state funding for unethical life sciences experiments by moving quickly before the public's voice is heard.

The governor wants the legislature to approve the selling of $350 million in assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) for the construction of life science facilities at Missouri public universities. There are three basic reasons why this is a very bad idea.

1. Passage of Amendment 2 has robbed the legislature of the ability to make distinctions between life science research that is ethically acceptable, such as research with adult stem cells, and unethical experiments that involve human cloning or the destruction of human embryos. Consequently, if the legislature approves the MOHELA sale, the life science facilities developed will have to be open for both ethical and unethical life science ventures: human cloning and research that destroys early human life.

2. MOHELA' s mission is to provide affordable low-interest loans to college students. These loans are badly needed. The University of Missouri, for example, has the highest tuition of any Big 12 school. Part of its historic mission is to provide access to higher education to a wide sector of Missouri citizens. Selling the MOHELA assets makes higher education less accessible to Missouri families.

3. MOHELA's assets have been built up by the customers it serves - college students paying off loans for attendance at both public and private universities like St. Louis University and Rockhurst University in Kansas City. In fact, a disproportionate amount of the loans extended by MOHELA are to students at Missouri's Catholic colleges and university.  However, the sale proceeds will only be used to assist state universities. The private universities that helped to build the wealth of MOHELA will receive no benefits from the MOHELA sale, and, in fact, will be harmed because their students will have fewer options to obtain financial assistance.

Thus, for many Catholic families in Missouri, this is triple hit on their moral values, their pocketbooks and their hopes for a quality Catholic education for their children. First, the moneys they have paid into MOHELA will be used for human cloning and other unethical research which destroys innocent human lives. Second, it will cost these families more to send their children to college.  And third, the assets of MOHELA, which come from their hard-earned dollars, will be sold only for the benefit of public higher education, which will put Catholic colleges and universities at a greater disadvantage as they seek to attract students, quality teachers and community support.

Some may argue that the November 7, 2006 election gives a mandate for funding embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. But Amendment 2 passed by about 50,000 votes out of over 2 million votes cast. This certainly does not constitute a mandate. Supporters of Amendment 2 spent over $30 for each vote cast in favor of the amendment.  Normally, the legislature supports funding of projects for which there is a reasonable level of consensus. Furthermore, there are plenty of programs that are under-funded at this time. Many low-income parents, for example, lost their Medicaid health coverage in 2005 because of a severe state budget shortfall. Yet the governor's proposal would give speculative life science experiments priority over providing basic health care to the poor, the elderly, veterans and low-income working families.

Some suggest that life science research must go forward for the economic progress of our state. But no economic "progress" can justify the taking of any human life. If the research is valid and ethical, it will win the public's approval in the market and move forward. Why should this particular business -- biotech -- be singled out for special treatment and taxpayer money? Missouri should not establish a government subsidized life science industry.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:

Don't let up now! Your calls, letters and e-mails are beginning to have an impact, but more constituent pressure is needed!

* Contact your State Senator and State Representative immediately (see hyper-linked rosters at the end of this ActionGram. Note: Complete legislator information will not be available until January 3, 2007);

* Pass this ActionGram on to friends and neighbors and encourage them to contact their state lawmakers;

* Post this ActionGram in church, parish and Knights of Columbus halls, Catholic schools and other places where it will be seen.

* Have the following message placed in the Sunday bulletin.

MOHELA sale will fund human cloning! The state legislature will soon consider the sale of $350 million in assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) for the construction of life science buildings at public universities. The Missouri Catholic Conference asks citizens to urge their state lawmakers to oppose the MOHELA sale. The MOHELA sale is poor public policy for the following three reasons: 1. The proceeds from the MOHELA sale can be used for unethical life sciences and human cloning; 2. The MOHELA sale will transfer money normally used to provide loan assistance to college students to the construction of life science buildings on the public university campuses; and 3. Even though a disproportionate amount of the MOHELA assets come from loan applications from Catholic college students, Catholic colleges and universities such as St. Louis University and Rockhurst University will realize no benefit from the MOHELA sale - all the money will be used for construction at public (not private) colleges and universities.

* Report back to the MCC on what your legislators are saying. Contact us at mocatholic@mocatholic.org or call toll-free at 1-800-456-1679.

ROSTER OF STATE SENATORS: http://www.senate.mo.gov/06info/senalpha.htm

ROSTER OF STATE REPRESENTATIVES:
http://www.house.state.mo.us/default.aspx?info=/bills071/member/memmail.htm - Broken Link

Posted December 21, 2006

Missouri Legislators Seek to Close Stem-Cell Research Loophole
Two lawmakers plan to challenge a human-cloning provision in constitutional amendment narrowly approved by voters in November, the Kansas City Star reported.

Amendment 2, the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, passed with just 51 percent of the vote last month. The initiative allows researchers to create embryonic human life for the purpose of extracting stem cells -- a process that always results in the death of the embryo. It will also allow scientists to clone human embryos for research.

State Sen. Matt Bartle and state Rep. Jim Lembke, both Republicans, announced Tuesday a proposal that would clarify the intent of the people of Missouri.

See http://www.citizenlink.org/CLBriefs/A000003473.cfm for complete story.

Posted December 15, 2006

Missourians Against Human Cloning Header
12/15/2006

Dear MAHC Coalition Members,

I hope you have all enjoyed a restful post-election break and are enjoying the Christmas season.

I have exciting news to share with you.  On Tuesday December 19th, State Senator Matt Bartle and State Representative Jim Lembke will travel across our state to announce joint resolutions to truly ban human cloning they are going to file for the 2007 legislative session.  As many of you know, Senator Bartle and Representative Lembke have been at the forefront of the anti-cloning battle for several years.  The proponents of Amendment 2 spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to unseat these two courageous leaders, but fortunately their constituents were not deceived and re-elected these outstanding statesmen.

"As legislators, we take our responsibilities to those we serve very seriously.  We know that most Missourians do not want to constitutionally protect human cloning and they certainly don't want their tax dollars paying for it", stated Rep. Lembke.

The people have provided a mandate to the legislature to provide a true ban on all human cloning that is honest, straightforward and scientifically accurate.  Therefore, MAHC is proud to support joint resolutions that will clearly and simply protect our state from unethical human cloning research.  If human cloning is truly banned in our state, we protect the dignity of human life, our tax dollars and our young women from the exploitation and endangerment of egg harvesting.

Unlike those that have hidden their pro-cloning agenda behind the smoke and mirrors of a deceptive and complicated 2,200 word amendment, we will continue to share the truth in simple, honest and scientifically accurate terms with the voters of Missouri.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP If possible, please attend one of the press conferences listed below to show your support for legislation that corrects the deceptions and fallacies of Amendment 2.

Attend the Concerned Women of America's Lobby Day on January 10, 2007 at the Capitol in Jefferson City.  You will have the opportunity to show your legislators that you support the anti-cloning joint resolutions.

Also, mark your calendars for the Anti-cloning Coalition Lobby Day on March 7, 2007.  Much more information on this important event co-sponsored by MAHC and a number of other organizations will be provided in January.

8:00 AM Jefferson City Press Conference
Senate Lounge, Third Floor State Capitol Building
Ample seating

10:15 AM St. Louis Press Conference
Pillar in the Valley
229 Chesterfield Business Parkway
Ample seating

12:05 PM Southeast Missouri Press Conference
Cape Girardeau Airport
FBO Cape Aviation Conference Room (no street address available)
Very limited space in the conference room, supporters can gather in lobby

2:30 PM Southwest Missouri Press Conference
Springfield Airport Conference Room
2801 N General Aviation Avenue
Very limited space in the conference room, supporters can gather in lobby

4:30 PM Kansas City Press Conference
Executive Beechcraft Hangar
10 Richards Rd.
Very limited space in the conference room, supporters can gather in lobby

WANT TO KNOW MORE
Listen to an interview with Senator Matt Bartle <http://www.nocloning.org/audio/MattBartle.mp3> - Broken Link

Merry Christmas!
Jaci

2nd post
Dear MAHC Coalition Members,

We would like to clarify the details for the Bartle/Lembke press conferences which were sent out in the email alert yesterday.

We noticed that the Press conferences listed below did not include the date. These press conferences will be held on Tuesday December 19th.

Please support this initial effort to correctly ammend the missouri constitution so it truly bans human cloning.

8:00 AM Jefferson City Press Conference
Senate Lounge, Third Floor State Capitol Building
Ample seating

10:15 AM St. Louis Press Conference
Pillar in the Valley
229 Chesterfield Business Parkway
Ample seating

12:05 PM Southeast Missouri Press Conference
Cape Girardeau Airport
FBO Cape Aviation Conference Room (no street address available)
Supporters will gather in lobby

2:30 PM Southwest Missouri Press Conference
Springfield Airport Conference Room
2801 N General Aviation Avenue
Supporters will gather in lobby

4:30 PM Kansas City Press Conference
Executive Beechcraft Hangar
10 Richards Rd.
Supporters will gather in lobby

Thank You,
Jaci

Posted November 6, 2006

No Fairy Tales, Just the Truth
California Company's False Claims to Ethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research
-- BY KIRK KRAMER, NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2006, Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission -- Broken Link

Posted October 13, 2006

Wesley J. Smith was interviewed for an hour 10/12/06 on KKSZ, "The Eagle," out of Columbia, Missouri about Amendment 2, the initiative that would create a constitutional amendment in Missouri to do human cloning research.

Posted September 25, 2006

Industrialized Human Cloning Looms -- Inside Voices -- Review of Cloning and Embryonic Stem Cell Research amendment before Missouri voters
by Helen Hull Hitchcock (Michaelmas 2006)

Posted August 25, 2006

Pro-Life Spokeswoman Protests FDA Approval of “Plan B” Without Prescription

WASHINGTON (August 24, 2006) — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today (August 24) that it has approved Barr Pharmaceutical’s “Plan B” for distribution without a prescription to women age 18 and over.

Deirdre McQuade, Director of Planning and Information for the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, objected to the approval in the following statement:

“We find the FDA’s unprecedented decision to make Plan B available without a prescription completely unacceptable. Women deserve quality health care, but over-the-counter (OTC) use of this potentially abortifacient drug will compromise informed consent and follow-up care when necessary.

“The FDA describes Plan B as ‘a contraceptive drug’ and equates its side effects to those of ordinary birth control pills. While Plan B can prevent fertilization, the manufacturer admits it may also prevent a newly-conceived embryo from implanting and surviving in the womb. This is properly understood as causing an early abortion.

“Without the benefit of a doctor’s supervision, many women will be unaware of this abortifacient action and the other risks posed by Plan B.

“Plan B is a powerful dose of the artificial hormone, Levonorgestrel – 40 times the amount found in comparable prescription-only birth control pills. Making the more potent dosage available to women upon request simply offends common sense – especially when the drug is not designed to treat a disease or pathological condition.

“According to Plan B’s new packaging insert, the risk of potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy is up to five times higher with progestin-only birth control. But if women take the drug quickly, as advised, they may not take the time to read all the fine print and could put themselves at unnecessary risk.

“Despite exaggerated claims to the contrary, Plan B will not realistically reduce abortion rates. Research in Europe and the U.S. has shown that increased access to ‘emergency contraception’ has a negligible effect on the rate of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

“The burden now shifts to pharmacies to do the right thing for women’s health. I urge health care providers not to confuse FDA approval with a right to access and refuse to stock this potent drug for distribution on demand.”

For USCCB comments to the FDA and other information on the morning-after pill, go to: http://old.usccb.org/comm/archives/2006/06-162.shtml.

Posted August 24, 2006

Press Release from Young Friends for Life:

You are invited to Celebrate LIFE in the CITY with the Young Friends for Life!

Young Friends for Life, recently convened by the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, strives to enhance the participation of St. Louis' young professional community in promoting the dignity of human life from its earliest stages to natural death. Our first project is to host Celebrate LIFE in the CITY on Thursday, September 7 at the CITY Museum. The goal of the event is to raise awareness about Constitutional Amendment 2, a proposed amendment to the Missouri state constitution that would protect embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. All of the proceeds from the evening will benefit a media campaign to educate Missourians about the proposed pro-cloning amendment. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the City Museum while enjoying complimentary drinks and appetizers.

Join us as we Celebrate LIFE in the CITY on Thursday, September 7, 7-10 pm!

If you have any questions, please contact Young Friends For Life by email: info@youngfriendsforlife.org or by phone: 314-792-7556.
Visit YoungFriendsForLife.org for details on ticket prices. -- broken links

Posted August 21, 2006

*Must Read*Missouri Roundtable For Life -- Presents -- A Word-By-Word Critique Of The So-Called "Missouri Stem Cell Research And Cures Initiative" -- An exposure of its true consequences. -- Broken link

Posted August 10, 2006
Vote NO on the proposed Stem Cell Research and Cloning Amendment
-- Broken link

DID YOU KNOW? The proposed Stem Cell Research and Cloning Amendment, which will be on the ballot in November, contains provisions overriding existing state laws and exempting doctors and researchers from any lawsuits arising from their research—even if people die. Links to the St. Louis Archdiocese Respect Life Apostolate - Link Broken

Posted August 4, 2006

From Missourians Against Human Cloning - Broken link

The debate surrounding the Stem Cell Research/Cloning Amendment is heating up across the state as well as the country! All eyes are on Missouri.

Tuesday, August 8th is the statewide primary election. The primary offers an opportunity to deliver our message to 800,000 dedicated voters, all in one day. This will be a pivotal 24 hours in our campaign. Please, join the ranks of hundreds of coalition members who will handout our flyers to voters as they exit the polls. This is a non-confrontational event.

If you are interested and are available please contact your regional coordinator listed below or call the office in St. Louis, 636-536-9877.

We know that when people understand the truth, they will be motivated to vote NO in November.

Help us share that truth with everyone you know.

St. Louis/St. Charles/Lincoln/Jefferson/Franklin/Warren area:
contact Lois Linton via email at lslntn@charter.net

Southeastern Missouri:
contact Karen Magee at pmagee@earthlink.net

Kansas City/Cass/Clay/Jackson/Johnson/Plate/Ray area:
contact Tiffany Bradford at tiffany@birch.net
contact Julia Warton at nocloning-julia@kc.rr.com

Southwestern Missouri:
contact Lisa Leach at mrleach@sbcglobal.net

Central Missouri:
contact Mitch Hubbard at mitchellhubbard@netzero.net

Northeastern Missouri:
contact Brenda Wickham at bdc@ponyexpress.net

Also, if you belong to a church, social organization or civic group, and want to educate your fellow members on the upcoming amendment, call our office to schedule a presentation. We have a well trained Speakers Bureau of doctors, medical professionals, and researchers who would be glad to answer any of your questions.

Posted August 3, 2006

Catholic voter information on stem-cell PAC donations draws complaint to IRS
By Kevin Kelly
8/2/2006
Catholic News Service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CNS) – Attempts by the Missouri Catholic Conference to inform voters about thousands of dollars in contributions to state officeholders from a political action committee (PAC) supporting embryonic stem-cell research have prompted a complaint to the Internal Revenue Service.

"We take this complaint very seriously," said Deacon Larry Weber, executive director of the conference, the public policy arm of the state's Catholic bishops.

"However, we believe strongly that we didn't violate the IRS code or regulations," Deacon Weber said. "We're only seeking to provide information and clarify who is taking funding from supporters of embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning. People are known by the company they keep."

Click title for complete article.

Posted July 27 2006

Link to: President Bush's Message to the House of Representatives, July 19, 2006 -- White House website, also see: Fact Sheet: President Bush's Stem Cell Research Policy -- links broken

Vatican newspaper criticizes EU vote on stem-cell research funding

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The European Union's decision to continue funding for embryonic stem-cell research represents "the macabre result of a twisted sense of logic," said the Vatican newspaper.

In its July 26 edition, L'Osservatore Romano criticized the EU ministers' attempts to find a middle ground between pro-life concerns and pressures for stem-cell research. Instead of finding an ethical solution, the European Union has condoned "a macabre illicit trade" between researchers who harvest stem cells and those who work with stem-cell lines, the Vatican newspaper said.

Click title for complete news release.

Posted July 19, 2006

Embryo Destruction versus Abortion by Richard Stith, J.D., Ph.D.

Posted July 19, 2006

Senate passage of embryonic stem-cell expansion called 'a disservice'

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Senate's July 18 vote to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research does "a disservice to human life and to the cause of medical progress," said the head of the U.S. bishops' pro-life office.

Click title for complete news release.

USCCB Official Commends President Bush for Statements, Actions Regarding Proposed Legislation on Stem Cell Research

Posted July 18, 2006

Cardinal Keeler Urges Senate: Support Two Bills on Stem Cell Research, Reject H.R. 810

WASHINGTON (July 12, 2006)—With the U.S. Senate poised to consider three bills relating to bioethics and stem cell research, Cardinal William H. Keeler urged support for two of those bills—which, he said, respect both science and ethics—and rejection of a bill which would force taxpayers to support the destruction of early human life.

In a letter to the Senate, Cardinal Keeler expressed support for S. 2754, the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act, and S. 3504, the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act. He called on the Senate to reject H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, “in the name of sound ethics and responsible science.”

Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, is Chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

NOTE: The full text of Cardinal Keeler’s letter can be found on the Web at www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/bioethic/stemcell/keelerhr810.pdf. (broken link)

Click title for complete news release on the USCCB website.

Posted July 5, 2006

A Clone by any Other Name: Missouri's deceptively worded ballot measure -- By Colleen Carroll Campbell

Posted June 7, 2006

Harvard and The University of California in San Francisco uses Embryonic Stem Cells in research.

Approval granted for Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers to attempt creation of disease-specific embryonic stem cell lines (broken link)

and

Stem Cell Research at UCSF (broken link)

Posted May 22, 2006

Rosary Crusade -- Safeguarding Embryonic Human Life -- Archdiocese of St. Louis, Respect Life Apostolate -- To join visit http://www.morosarycrusade.org/

Posted May 17, 2006

PRE-EMINENT RIGHT ISSUE, Steven Rogers JD -- Missouri Embroynic Stem Cell Research Initiative

CONSTITUTIONAL CROSSROADS -- May 2006 -- Steven Rogers, JD, Missouri Embroynic Stem Cell Research Initiative, op-ed

Posted March 6, 2006

Taking a Stand for Life -- A Missouri petition supporting embryonic stem cell experiments calls for action:A young woman responds -- Molly McCann [Lent-Easter 2006]

Posted March 3, 2006

Please do not sign the “Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cure Initiative” petitions being circulated in your area.

If you signed in error and wish to have your name removed you should submit a sworn statement to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office asking that the signature be withdrawn from the petition. Requests should be submitted in writing to Robin Carnahan, Secretary of State of Missouri, Missouri State Capitol, Room 208, PO Box 778, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0778.

Source St Louis Review -- Way offered to remove signatures from petition, March 3, 2006

Posted February 27, 2006
http://www.dontsignalifeaway.org/ Broken link
Please do not sign the “Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cure Initiative” petitions being circulated in your area.

Posted February 27, 2006
EACH HUMAN BEING IS A REFLECTION OF DIVINE REALITY

VATICAN CITY, FEB 27, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today received participants in the general assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life which is currently considering the theme of "the human embryo prior to implantation."

The Pope described the theme as "fascinating, but difficult and arduous given the delicate nature of the subject being examined and the complexity of epistemological problems concerning the relationship" between experimental scientific data and reflection on anthropological values.

After recalling that Holy Scripture "expresses the love of God towards all human beings even before they take form in the mother's womb," the Holy Father affirmed: "The love of God does not distinguish between the newly-conceived infant still in its mother's womb, the baby, the youth, the grown adult or the elderly, because in each of them He sees the sign of His own image and likeness."

"This limitless and almost incomprehensible love of God for man reveals to what point human beings are worthy of love in themselves, regardless of any other consideration, be it intelligence, beauty, health, youth, integrity and so on. Human life is a good thing, always and definitively."

Benedict XVI went on to make it clear that "in man, in all men and women, whatever their stage or condition of life, there shines a reflection of God's own reality. For this reason, the Magisterium of the Church has constantly proclaimed the sacred and inviolable nature of each human life, from conception to natural end. This moral judgement also holds at the beginning of an embryo's life, even before it is implanted in the mother's womb."

Referring to research into the origins of life, "a mystery which science will be able to illuminate ever more clearly, though with difficulty will it decipher it altogether," the Pope indicated that "those who love truth must be aware that research into such profound themes puts us in the position of seeing and almost touching the hand of God. Beyond the limits of experimental methods, at the confines of the area that some call meta-analysis, where sensorial perception and scientific tests are neither enough or even possible, that is where the adventure of transcendence begins." AC/HUMAN EMBRYO/... VIS 060227 (370)

Posted February 13, 2006

From: Missouri Catholic Conference <mocatholic@mocatholic.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 15:40:42 -0800
To: Undisclosed Recipients <mocatholic@mocatholic.org>
Subject: Contact Senator Talent Today

206-39                               

Senator Talent withdraws his opposition to human cloning

On February 10, 2006, Senator Jim Talent (R-Missouri) withdrew his name as a cosponsor of the Human Cloning Prohibition Act, SB 658. Sen. Talent based his change of position on his desire that a human cloning ban not impede newly emerging technologies.

Sen. Talent admitted that somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), the same process used to create Dolly the sheep, creates cloned human embryos when used with human cells. He further claimed that banning human cloning through SCNT might impede research on a newly proposed procedure called altered nuclear transfer (ANT). In altered nuclear transfer a cloned human embryo is created but is genetically modified to prevent growth beyond a certain stage.

Senator Talent has come under fire in recent months for his support of a ban on human cloning from cloning proponents.

Deacon Larry Weber, Executive Director of the Missouri Catholic Conference stated. “Senator Talent was elected on the basis that he supported a ban on human cloning. Today Senator Talent completely changed his position.”

“Senator Talent needs to reconsider his position and go back to supporting the bill to ban human cloning before the elections in November,” continued Deacon Weber. “Pro-life Missourians expect that Senator Talent will not succumb to false statements and promises of cloning advocates, and will hold fast to his position in support of the cloning ban.”

ACTION REQUESTED:

Contact Senator Talent and let him know that he needs to reconsider his position and go back to supporting SB 658.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Washington, DC Office
493 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-6154
Fax: 202-228-1518
Email: http://talent.senate.gov/Contact/default.cfm

St. Louis Review Article:
February 10, 2006
Youths challenge stem-cell petitioners
by Jennifer Brinker, Review Staff Writer

USCCB Website: Bishops' Official Comments On Human Cloning Hoax -- Washington (January 10, 2006)

USCCB Website: Cloning/Embryo Research/Stem Cell Research

USCCB Official Hails Enactment of Cord Blood Stem Cell Legislation - USCCB Website -- December 20, 2005

Cloning Chaos: Misrepresentations, hype, and outright lies in the name of "science" by Richard Doerflinger.
An essay by the deputy-director or the Pro-life Committee of the US Catholic Bishops' Conference, effectively demolishing the highly publicized Korean cloning research project, that appeared in National Review, December 13, 2005.

Ethical and Policy Concerns in Stem Cell Research — Richard Doerflinger [Voices Christmas 2005 - Epiphany 2006]

Safeguarding Human Life: The Very Beginning
by Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri -- Missouri Catholic Conference Website, this article was also published in the St. Louis Review, November 11, 2005.

Do Not Sign Cloning Petition (PDF File)
Posted Nov. 21, 2005 --
Missouri Catholic Conference -
Do not sign a petition in support of the so-called "Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative". links broken

Moral Dilemmas in Stem Cell Research: Is Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming (OAR) A Moral Procedure To Retrieve Embryonic Stem Cells?
Introduction Notes by Helen Hitchcock, Michaelmas 2005 

Is Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming (OAR) A Moral Procedure To Retrieve Embryonic Stem Cells? 
August 15, 2005 - updated September 22, 2005
by William Burke, M.D., Ph.D., Patrick Pullicino, MD, PhD. and The Rev. Edward J. Richard, MS, DThM, JD

White House Bioethics Council Issues Paper on Stem Cell Research
May 2005

Statement on the Passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, H.B. 810, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, posted May 26, 2005

STEM CELL RESEARCH
by Cynthia M. Peterson M.D., October 17, 2004

Pastoral Letter on Election 2004
Bishop Raymond J. Boland and Bishop Robert W. Finn
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, October 7, 2004


From: USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 11:48:09 -0400
To: Info@wf-f.org
Subject: New Poll on Stem Cell Research Funding

DATE: August 23, 2004

FROM: Sr. Mary Ann Walsh
O: 202-541-3200
H: 301-587-4762

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW POLL: AMERICANS PREFER FUNDING STEM CELL RESEARCH THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE DESTROYING HUMAN EMBRYOS

WASHINGTON-- Despite exaggerated recent claims about the benefits of embryonic stem cell research, Americans strongly prefer funding research that does not require destroying human embryos. They also strongly oppose human cloning for either reproductive or research purposes.

These are the chief findings of survey questions commissioned by the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The questions are part of a national survey conducted by International Communications Research, which polled over one thousand American adults by telephone in mid-August.

The poll suggests that Americans are closely divided on federal funding of stem cell research that requires destroying human embryos, with 43 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed. However, when given a choice between funding all stem cell research (both adult and embryonic), and funding only alternatives such as adult stem cell research to see if there is no need to destroy embryos for research, Americans clearly prefer funding only adult stem cell research by a margin of 61 percent to 23 percent. Opposition to funding embryonic stem cell research is stronger among women, low-income Americans, seniors, and regular churchgoers.

The survey also shows that Americans overwhelmingly oppose the use of human cloning to create embryos for medical research, 80 percent to 13 percent.

"Cloning embryos for their stem cells is the logical next step in the embryonic stem cell research agenda," says Richard Doerflinger, Deputy Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Americans also oppose cloning to provide children to infertile couples, 82 percent to 11 percent.

"Polls on embryonic stem cell research often fail to mention that the research requires destroying human embryos," says Doerflinger. "Yet this fact is essential to understanding the moral issue. Some polls also make exaggerated claims about the (hypothetical) medical benefits of embryonic cells, while ignoring the documented benefits of alternative research that poses no moral problem. No instrument for testing public opinion should mislead the public on these crucial aspects of the issue."

Poll questions and results are attached.

SEC,CNS,RNS,Crux

Questions asked by International Communications Research, a national research firm headquartered in Media, Pennsylvania. A weighted sample of 1001 American adults was surveyed by telephone August 13-17, 2004, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

1. Stem cells are the basic cells from which all of a person's tissues and organs develop. Congress is considering the question of federal funding for experiments using stem cells from human embryos. The live embryos would be destroyed in their first week of development to obtain these cells. Do you support or oppose using your federal tax dollars for such experiments?
Support 43.3%
Oppose 46.9%
Don't know 9.0%
Refused 0.8%

2. Stem cells for research can be obtained by destroying human embryos. They can also be obtained from adults, from placentas left over from live births, and in other ways that do no harm to the donor. Scientists disagree on which source may end up being most successful in treating diseases. How would you prefer your tax dollars to be used this year for stem cell research?
(Options rotated)

Supporting all methods, including those that require destroying human embryos,
to see which will be most successful 23.0%

or

Supporting research using adult stem cells and other alternatives, to see if there is no need to destroy human embryos for research. 61.4%
Neither (volunteered) 8.0%
Don't know 6.7%
Refused 0.8%

3. Should scientists be allowed to use human cloning to try to create children for infertile couples?
Yes 11.1%
No 82.1%
Don't Know 6.4%
Refused 0.4%

4. Should scientists be allowed to use human cloning to create a supply of human embryos to be destroyed in medical research?
Yes 13.3%
No 79.8%
Don't Know 6.1%
Refused 0.7%

USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat


Intervention by the Holy See: Delegation at the Special Committee of the 57th General Assembly of the United Nations on Human Embryonic Cloning
Monday, September 23, 2002

Ethical Implications of Non-Heart-Beating Organ Donation
by Nancy Valko, RN, Michaelmas 2002

Pontifical Academy for Life, Prospects for Xenotransplantation Scientific Aspects and Ethical Considerations, September 26, 2001

Bioethics Watch: Hard Sell on Stem Cells
by Nancy Valko, RN, Michaelmas 2001, Volume XVI No. 3

Address of John Paul II, to the 18th International Congress of the Transplantation Society, Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells -- Pontifical Academy for Life -- August 25, 2000

Bioethics Watch: Stem Cells and Fetal Tissue
By Nancy Valko, RN, May 2000


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