Southeast Missouri says "No" to Amendment 2 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Campaign '06

Southeast Missouri says "No" to Amendment 2

Southeast Missouri says "No" to Amendment 2
By: Crystal Britt

Voters say yes to a constitutional amendment to protect stem cell research. It was pretty close with 51% carrying the yes votes. But, that doesn't come close to reflecting how people in southeast Missouri voted.

Amendment 2 failed by more than 25,000 votes in the southeast Missouri counties of Mississippi, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott,  Stoddard, Butler, Carter, Iron, Madison, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Washington, and Wayne. Yes votes only totaled 41 percent.

With every election, there are winners and losers. Paralysis patient Chris Hrabik says people like him stand to win. He believes stem cell research could one day help him walk again. An accident two years ago turned his life upside down.  "I suffered a C5, 6 break in my neck, and became quadriplegic", said Hrabik. He just returned from China where he underwent treatments he can't get back home.  "They cultured stem cells from my own blood, and umbilical cord blood from Chinese donors into my spinal cord", said Hrabik. He says, already he's seen results. "My left hand is starting to move...the fingers for the first time in a couple years."

It's promising research, but it doesn't come without controversy. Conservatives like Pastor Todd Greer from the Red Star Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau strongly oppose embryonic stem cell research.  "It's not an issue of being against cures, it's an issue of being good stewards to what God has taught in his word", said Pastor Todd Greer. He feels Missourians were misled.  "The major disappointment is there's been some deception here and giving people the idea this will bring cures when that hasn't been established as a fact yet", said Greer. He has no problem with adult stem cell research. But, people like Chris believe in taking it a step further.  "With the study of embryonic, it might develop a better cure for not just my injury, but diseases too." While discouraged with the outcome of the election, Pastor Greer also has hope.  "That's what keeps my faith strong is knowing when we have setbacks, knowing God is in control."

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