By Don C. Reed
Imagine that you were just diagnosed with end-stage heart failure.
The doctor shakes her head, makes a tch-tch sound with her mouth, and explains you have a 50% chance of living two more years-- and that there is no cure.
What if she suddenly snapped her fingers and said: "Oh, wait, I forgot, there is a chance to rebuild your heart, repairing the damage with new and healthy cells??"
In California, research to repair the damaged heart is going on right now.
Paralyzed with a spinal cord injury?
The California stem cell program* is using embryonic stem cell research to work on all these problems and many more.
But there are always opponents, people who for political reasons would block research potentially leading to cure.
People like Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) would starve the research of funds, or criminalize it outright. Blunt has repeatedly voted against research which might cure paralysis, heart disease and blindness.
But you thought Missouri already voted on the issue of stem cell research? Wasn't there a state-wide initiative, Amendment 2, which passed, and is now part of the Missouri Constitution?
You are absolutely correct.
Missouri has had the great stem cell debate.
The "Show-Me" state came up with its own set of regulations, nowhere near as liberal as California's, for example, but something everyone could live with.
Basically, it was this: Missouri would allow only that stem cell research which was specifically permitted by the Federal government, and nothing more. Strict limits were imposed on the kind of embryonic stem cells used for research. No changes in the state's rules on cloning were allowed. Copying of cells was permissible, but nothing which involved implantation in the womb: no cloning of babies whatsoever: just cells, cells, nothing but cells.
Michael J. Fox did a commercial in favor of both Amendment 2 and Claire McCaskill, herself a strong supporter of the research.
McCaskill, who ran in favor of the research, prevailed. Jim Talent, who generally opposed the research, was defeated.
Roy Blunt, unfortunately, is of the past when it comes to medical research.
But what about those old-fashioned virtues Missourians still honor, and try to live by? Blunt seems willing to ignore those, judging by his support of Donald Trump.
Want one more reason not to re-elect Roy Blunt, supporter of Donald Trump?
"3,000 survivors of sexual assault tell Republicans to stop enabling Trump."
Here is the letter, reprinted in its entirety.
"Republican leaders, candidates, and elected officials: Stop Enabling Trump.
"We write as survivors of sexual assault to express our disgust at the Republican nominee for President's vile treatment of women, and to express profound disappointment in your continued support of his candidacy.
"Donald Trump's record on women has always been shameful, but the tape of him bragging about sexually assaulting women and getting away with it is a new low.
"These words affect us all, but as survivors of sexual assault they have a particularly horrifying impact on us.
"In this country, one in five women will be sexually assaulted, and the vast majority of perpetrators--as Donald Trump's boasts show him to be--will get away with it. When survivors of sexual assault come forward, they are too often blamed, shamed, and disbelieved. Donald Trump's bragging teaches young men that they can get away with it--and your silence means you stood by and watched.
"We call on ALL Republican leaders, candidates, and elected officials to take a stand against sexual assault and abuse--and take a stand against your own nominee for President. You must not only denounce Trump's words, but clearly and unequivocally denounce his candidacy and do all in your power to make sure that this sexual predator never sets foot in the White House. And we urge you to support strong policies that will end the epidemic of sexual assault in this country and support survivors of abuse."
SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE
Ultraviolet ACTION, MoveOn.Org
Paid for by Ultraviolet Action.www.weareultraviolet.org: Not Authorized by Any Candidate or Candidate's Committee.
* Neither the California stem cell program, nor any individual mentioned in the above article has any connection to my political opinions.
Don C. Reed is the author of "STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond: How Ordinary People Can Fight Back Against the Crushing Burden of Chronic Disease", available now from Amazon.com.