Missouri Stem Cell Advocates Hail Obama's Executive Order But Say Fight is Far From Over
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The order, signed Monday morning, removes many of the Bush administration restrictions that limited federal spending on embryonic stem cell research.
In a statement, Donn Rubin, chairman of Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, said that patients across Missouri can now "look forward to an acceleration in the search for cures to Parkinson's, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and other afflictions that affect millions of families."
Still, Rubin and his cohorts aren't popping the champagne. Not yet, anyway.
Rubin notes that stem-cell opponents have recently renewed their attempts to keep Missourians from benefiting from possible stem-cell therapies.
In January the Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan approved a ballot initiative fronted by the Missouri Roundtable for Life. If it gets enough signatures, the initiative would ask Missouri voters in 2010 to make it illegal for the legislature or state or local governments to use public funds for certain types of stem-cell research.
The initiative could also jeopardize federal grants for stem-cell research, according to the wording on the ballot. (The Roundtable has since complained that Carnahan has re-written the ballot in an attempt to sabotage the initiative.)
Meanwhile, state Senator Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis County) recently proposed a resolution that would essentially do the same thing as the ballot initiative by prohibiting public funds to be used for abortion services, human cloning, or "prohibited human research."