Program December 2005 – Stem Cell Research

December 8, 2005

Cynthia Kramer spoke passionately about her quest to advocate for a new stem call technology called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT.) A small band of ardent, progressive members of Women’s Voices braved snow and cold to hear Cynthia’s inspiring and informative talk. Even though the technology does NOT use a fertilized egg in the procedure, because the nuclei of the recipient’s egg and a donor’s egg are exchanged, and the new cell contains 46 chromosomes, opponents counter that, by their definition, this equals “life” even though the new eggs never leave the Petri dish.The term “embryonic” cell is used because it comes from an egg which has not yet been “programmed” for a certain function in the body, and thus can become anything. They are NOT fertilized eggs.Last session, Missouri Senator Bartle introduced a bill which could issue a 15 year penalty on any researcher, doctor, or patient utilizing SCNT. The bill did not make it to the floor, but it could be reintroduced in the new session beginning in January.Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice has joined the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.

In other business, The Education Focus Group is seeking those interested in volunteering time in a Wyman School classroom. They also ask that we each bring some kind of school supplies to each meeting which will then be utilized by the students and teachers at Wyman School.

Ruth Ann Cioci reported that she and Joanne Kelly attended a summit meeting of environmental groups around the state in Columbia. The assembled group decided on priorities to be pursued in the upcoming session of the legislature.

Joanne Kelly reported that The Missouri Budget Project is continuing to develop facts and an approach to work toward reinstituting some of the Medicaid cuts. They are also on top of an initiative called TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights) which has decimated social services in Colorado. The approach gives the false impression that it will hold state spending in check. Amy Blouin says that it is actually “the Hancock bill on steroids.”