ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri voters on Tuesday narrowly approved a state constitutional amendment protecting stem cell research.
Preliminary results showed the amendment winning support from 51.1 percent of the electorate with 97 percent of precincts reporting, a margin of about 45,000 votes.
The call for the stem cell measure in Missouri was based on a number of factors, including voter turnout, previous voting patterns, and a statistical analysis of the vote from voter interviews conducted for The Associated Press by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International.
The amendment, known as the Missouri Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, guarantees that any federally allowed stem cell research and treatments can occur in Missouri, including research using human embryos.
The amendment's significance is largely symbolic: Embryonic stem cell research is already occurring in Missouri, although on a limited basis. Supporters cited several unsuccessful attempts by some state lawmakers to criminalize the procedure as the impetus for the measure.