One of the biggest opponents of legislation overturning the voters’s decision on stem cell research is likely to come from a close friend of one of the sponsors. Senator Matt Bartle of Lee’s Summit is cosponsoring a proposal that would throw out the protections scientists have to do embryonic stem cell research in Missouri. Voters approved those protections less than 60 says ago. Gearing up to fight him is Senator Chris Koster of Harrisonville. The two practice law in the same building and have sat within handshake distance of each other for two years. Koster says Bartle is ‘way off base in trying to overturn what voters have so recently approved. Both consider themselves pro-life. Both have been discussed as possibilities for higher office. But Koster says friendship does not mean he can agree with Bartle. He says both of them believe the other is speaking from the heart. But he also says both could make a case that they are destroying their political careers by taking the hard positions they are taking. Koster says 45 states allow embryonic stem cell research. Five do not. He says Bartle wants Missouri to secede from the union of states that allow this kind of scientific research. He says it might be good politics, but it’s backward science. Koster was a key player in keeping Bartle’s bill from coming to a vote the last time he p ushed it, and he says he’ll play that role again if he must.
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