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Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Are you my Mommy?" Said the Stem Cell to the Scientist.


Download The Full Audio MP3 below: Right click then "Save Target As"
Stem Cells.mp3


The debate over embryonic stem cell research boils down to a debate about abortion but with one difference: The difference is, people on the side of continuing this sort of research are bereft of any kind of conscience with regard to the destroying of embryos but may still disagree with or put limits on their support of abortion. Pro-life advocates may appeal to some deep seated realization of the fact that abortion is the taking of a life when we point out the fact that to perform an abortion, one must go inside an actual human being to do so. And so, some kind of connection is made between the baby in the womb and the owner of the womb, by everyone. It is no accident that pro abortion advocates place all their eggs in a basket called, “A woman’s right to choose.” Because deep down in their own hearts they know that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is not a trivial one to be made by anybody (not even the father).

Let me illustrate this further: what would you say to this law: “anyone, without exception, can decide to abort a baby for any reason”? For example, what if I’m a racist and I see a pregnant mixed couple? I then decide that this baby must not live and so I force the couple to perform an abortion. What if a law existed that permitted that sort of thing, what would you say to that? Unless you are a sick individual, you would cry out against such a law, wouldn’t you? I know I would. Well that is what I meant in my earlier statement that all of you, whether you are pro-abortion or pro-life, have a deep seated appreciation for the strong gravity that pulls away from the reckless performing of abortions. And so that decision (by law) is left to the person most deeply attached to the situation: The choice if left up to the woman.

Please note that in the famous case involving Scott Peterson and his murdered pregnant wife, Mr. Peterson was charged with a double homicide because his wife was pregnant.[1] If his wife had taken the life of their baby (during an abortion), it would have been no big deal and Scott would not have had any recourse. I say again, according to the law, no one but the mother can decide to abort her child; otherwise, it’s a murder. Now as I have said earlier, the debate over embryonic stem cell research boils down to a debate over abortion with one distinction; pro-abortion people have a bit of a conscience when it comes to destroying embryos inside of a person but absolutely no conscience when it come to destroying embryos inside a test tube. And I suspect it’s because in an abortion, one must confront the reality of embryos being the offspring of actual people Note: those in the test tube are from actual people too.

Let us now consider embryonic stem cell research, which by the way was never illegal under President Bush. His policy by executive order was to ban federal funding of that research.[2] I tell you the media is becoming more and more obsolete with their sloppy and/or biased reporting by saying over and over again that Barack Obama lifted the ban on stem cell research.[3] But whatever, that’s neither here nor there; the media has sold themselves to the most liberal bidder.

Embryos that are used in stem cell research do not have a mommy or a daddy. Well they do, but they are a distant abstraction. Embryos in research just “magically” show-up in a test tube; so it’s very easy (for some) to think of the subject of the research as simply a collection of cells. But at this time I must ask, “What pray-tell is the difference between a collection of cells in a woman’s womb and a collection of cells in a test tube?” I would argue that there are no important differences. And yet many will protest my argument saying that I’m missing one important similarity between the two scenarios: Women do indeed make the important decision regarding embryos carrying their DNA. No one can force a woman to give up her eggs to research; she must do so without being forced against her will. To this protest I would simply remind all of us of the fact that women give up their eggs and not a fertilized embryo. So the process for all involved is very sterile; the mother of the embryo supplies unfertilized eggs to a bank, the father of the embryo supplies sperm and the scientist who will be conducting the research simply takes material (that is to say the egg and sperm) from both banks and combines them. Life is created in that moment my friends but the people involved never meet each other and the parents never have to contemplate the destruction of their child. I think the sterile nature of embryonic stem cell research is the most disconcerting aspect of the whole process.

But consider one more thing. When he lifted the ban on federal funding for this research, President Obama said the following:
 
"In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research -- and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."[4]

What do we say to the President’s statements? Remember my story about Scott Peterson and the analogy of the racist who would want to abort the child of a mixed couple? If it would be absurd for a person to abort the child of a complete stranger based on his or her own racial prejudice, then why would replacing the word racist with scientist make all the absurdities go away? And, before you start saying that the scientist is trying to help people, just consider the fact that in my analogy, it would be just as absurd if instead of a racist trying to abort the child of the mixed couple, a stem cell scientist were to do so.

We must not allow ourselves to think lightly of life. What if a scientist or a doctor took eight eggs from a woman and combined them with sperm in a test tube? What if the doctor instead of destroying these eight embryos, placed them inside the womb of an irresponsible woman with no job, who lives with her mom and who already has 6 children? Well if you have no problem with embryonic stem cell research, then you have no problem with the “Octo-mom.”[5] Think about that!

Danian Michael
Political Agenda


Footnotes:

[1] (http://www.findlaci2003.us/sharon-pres-bush.html). The law, officially the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act,” signed into law by President George Bush, makes killing or injuring a fetus in the midst of a federal crime a separate offense. That would cover, for example, an assault on a pregnant woman in a national park. California already has such a law, which is why Peterson was charged with two murders.

[2] www.whitehouse.gov: On August 9, 2001 President George Bush by executive order banned the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research but not the research itself.

[3] Multiple news outlets including Fox News incorrectly stated the policies set by President George Bush as a Ban on Stem cell research. This probably only amounts to sloppy reporting (in most case), yet it feeds into the silly notion that Christians (since George Bush is a professing Christian) are driven only by ideology and lack true compassion or the ability to think.

[4] The New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/us/politics/09text-obama.html) – President Obama made the statement at the signing ceremony that lifted the ban on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

[5] The Octo-Mom (http://www.mahalo.com/Nadya_Suleman): Nadya Suleman, a single mom of 6 children paid a doctor to impregnate her with 8 live embryos. She is now the mother of 14 children.

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