Senate committee advances measure against cloning

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:38 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Just before the state Senate Judiciary Committee prepared to vote on anti-cloning legislation Monday evening, Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, wiped tears from his eyes.

The bill, which passed 7-2, would halt cloning and somatic-cell nuclear-transfer research in humans, which some Missouri scientists say has the potential to cure many degenerative diseases.

Graham, who has used a wheelchair since age 16, voted against the bill. He said he appreciated and respected the treatment of the issue by the other members of the committee.

“I know this is an extremely hard vote for many people here,” Graham said. “I have been pulled into this, which is natural because it certainly centers around something I deal with. I want to extend hope to people.”

The only other opposing vote came from Sen. Charles Wheeler, D-Kansas City.

Sen. Chris Koster, R-Harrisonville, said he would like to hear more scientific testimony about the somatic-cell nuclear-transfer process and urged the other members to learn as much as they could about stem-cell research.

“I have profound concerns over the direction we are taking over a very limited amount of time,” Koster said. “It is hard to find a vote like this anywhere in past history, when this legislature defined life begins at conception. This pushes the statement of where life begins even farther.”

After the vote, Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee’s Summit, who chairs the committee and sponsored the bill, said the decision made was extremely difficult. He added the issue still has many steps left to go within the Missouri Senate.

“Nobody standing here tonight thinks this is the end of the road,” Bartle said. “These people were agonizing with themselves in order to make a decision. This is one of those no-win situations for the legislature.”

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.