TO: Members of the Missouri House
FROM: Pam Fichter, President
DATE: February 10, 2014
RE: Economic Development Legislation With Pro-Life Concerns
Since the late 1990's when it became apparent that being pro-life was going to expand beyond just abortion and euthanasia into the fields of scientific research, Missouri Right to Life has been working to ensure that the State of Missouri does not become a partner in the destruction of innocent human lives in the labs. Missouri Right to Life and pro-life Missourians oppose human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research, and we oppose the State of Missouri using our tax dollars to fund businesses doing this unethical research or subsidizing them with tax credits or tax incentives.
Some economic development stimulus programs were put into place prior to a real understanding of just what could be offered to whom in these programs and what some in leadership in our state were willing to offer. In the early 2000's, human cloning and embryonic stem cell research became a real issue in Missouri with the infusion of Tobacco Tax Settlement dollars and the possibility that they could be used to fund such research.
In 2003, Missouri Right to Life, with the help of Speaker Catherine Hanaway, wrote the pro-life protective language found in 196.1127. That protective language is relevant only to monies appropriated to the Life Sciences Research Board and Fund.
At that time, all life science research funds were funneled through the Life Science Research Board. Incentives for other business programs did not involve life science research and so Missouri Right to Life did not concern itself with these other statutes.
Then in 2006, those who support human cloning and embryonic stem cell research spent $30 million dollars to promote and narrowly pass Amendment 2 to the Missouri Constitution. Amendment 2 includes a false, non-scientific, definition of human cloning in order to legitimize their access to our tax dollars and state tax incentives. Since then, they have been trying to sell legislators on their definition of human cloning.
Over the years since 2006, it has become increasingly apparent that public funds are accessible outside of the Life Sciences Research Trust Fund and the pro-life protections of 196.1127. Possible funding of human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research and even abortion providers through new funds like the Missouri Science Innovation and Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA)have emerged.
Currently three pieces of legislation give clear examples of this danger. HB 1310 & 1236, HB 1495 and HB 1498 establish what is commonly referred to as Angel Tax Credits. These angel tax credits provide an open door for public monies or tax credits and incentives to be given to businesses that could do human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research. Especially concerning is the fact that these bills direct the administration of these tax credits through the Missouri Technology Corporation which has close connections with the cloning industry.
While the Department of Economic Development budget bill contains pro-life protections on one line item of public monies, that one line item does not cover all programs funded through the budget process. Also, there is no guaranty that the pro-life language will remain on the budget bill that gets passed.
If the pro-life protections are on the program, then whoever is disbursing public monies, whether the MTC or the Director of the Department of Economic Development, the pro-life protections are on the public monies and the legislators have given clear direction that no public monies can be used for human cloning or human embryonic stem cell research.
We are grateful to those who worked last year to amend numerous bills to include the pro-life protections of 196.1127, and we hope we can do the same during this 2014 legislative session. If there is no plan to use public dollars for human cloning and human embryonic stem cell research, then there should be no problem placing this language on these bills while you have the statutes open.
Missouri Right to Life has no position on economic development legislation unless it endangers the lives of innocent human beings whether from abortion, human cloning or embryonic stem cell research. With the pro-life protections of 196.1127 included in economic development legislation that endangers innocent human lives, Missouri Right to Life becomes neutral on the legislation and you can have a real discussion on the merits of economic development.
However, when pro-life protections are refused or removed, Missouri Right to Life opposes the legislation. Missouri Right to Life has been consistent in asking for the pro-life protections found in section 196.1127 to be added wherever there is a possibility that a bill endangers human life. Many pieces of legislation reference other statutes so this is not an unmerited request.
If it is not your intent as a public servant of the citizens of Missouri to allow our tax dollars to be used for abortion, human cloning and embryonic stem cell research, then make it clear and say it often. You can do that by consistently inserting and referencing the pro-life protections of 196.1127 which includes the true scientific definitions of human cloning and a child.