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The Senate began debating a ban on embryonic stem cell research today. But the bill sponsor pulled it off the floor at the urging of Republican Senate leaders who indicated lawmakers were far from reaching consensus on the issue. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports on the debate.
The legislation would ban human cloning.
In doing so, it would ban a procedure called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, S-C-N-T, a type of early stem cell research.
Opponents of the bill say it will stifle research that could save lives.
But the sponsor of the ban, Republican Senator Matt Bartle disagrees.
Bartle urged lawmakers to support his bill, even if they're unsure whether or not S-C-N-T results in the creation of an embryo.
One of the bill's opponents, Republican Senator Chris Koster says S-C-N-T creates a cell called a blastocyst that exists in a Petri dish and has no chance of becoming a living, breathing human without being implanted in a uterus.
Koster says he believes that erring on the side of human life means opposing the bill that would end life-saving research.
In trying to garner support for the cloning ban, Senator Matt Bartle listed the countries that have banned Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.
He says it's time for the federal government and Missouri legislature to act.
But bill opponent Senator Chris Koster says Missouri should consider one important example of a country that hasn't banned S-C-N-T.
Koster says it would be imprudent for Missouri to enact a ban on Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer before the federal government.
He says the state would lose scientists if Missouri has a stricter law than the federal government.
The bill banning human cloning and by extension Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer has bi-partisan support and bi-partisan opposition.