The AP/Forbes on Friday examined a proposed ballot initiative that would amend the Missouri Constitution to ensure that stem cell research that is legal under federal law would be protected in the state. According to AP/Forbes, the ballot initiative is "turning conservatives against each other and threatening to tear apart Missouri's Republican Party at the very height of its modern-day influence." In the past five years, Republicans -- in part by "pulling together business interests with religious conservatives opposed to abortion" -- have won the governor's office and a majority in both houses of the state Legislature for the first time since the 1920s, the AP/Forbes reports. Some business groups, such as the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, support the proposed ballot measure, and some groups that oppose abortion rights, such as Missouri Right to Life, oppose it. Gov. Matt Blunt (R) has said he supports the proposed initiative, and, as a result, MRTL has said that the governor is no longer "pro-life," according to the AP/Forbes. The Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures is promoting the measure, while some opponents have formed a group called Missourians Against Human Cloning (Lieb, AP/Forbes, 3/10). Supporters of the initiative must gather 145,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for a statewide vote (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 3/1).

"Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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