Too bad Bush will probably veto it and continue to block funding for this potentially life-saving research. I found this section particularly interesting:
“Research on stem cells derived from human embryos may offer great promise, but the way those cells are derived today destroys the embryo,” said the president who was speaking before a group of parents who had children using embryos that had been created for other couples using fertility treatments. President Bush has pledged to veto the bill passed this afternoon because he says it would destroy life to save life.
The legislation that Mr. Bush has vowed to veto would reverse the president’s ban on using federal money to conduct new embryonic stem cell research. The embryonic stem cells, the starting point for every tissue in the human body, would come from live human embryos scheduled to be discarded at fertility clinics.
So… the group of people he was speaking to — parents of children conceived using fertility treatments that resulted in the discarding of other embryos — should be in support of banning stem cell research… why? Because if we’re going with the idea that a small cluster of cells (so small and undeveloped that what type of cells they will be can’t even be determined) is the equivalent to a human life like mine, and arguably deserves the same protections, then didn’t these parents assist in “killing” when they supported a fertility clinic in having children? Because, as anti-choicers are quick to remind us, fertility clinics try and fertilize a whole lotta eggs, and only a few embryos take. So maybe I’m slow, but it seems to be that Bush was speaking to the wrong group — given that, by anti-choice standards, these people are accomplices to murder. I mean, it was the anti-choice crowd that pitched a fit about fertility technology 20 years ago, and still hasn’t given up the fight.
I also love this quote from our President:
“This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell research without crossing a fundamental moral line by providing taxpayer funding that would sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos that have at least the potential for life.”
The “potential life” argument is one that is always destined to fail. Each of my unfertilized eggs is a potential life. Every sperm cell expelled for purposes other than procreation is a potential life thwarted. But I’m not crying every time I menstruate, and, apart from some severely guilt-ridden souls, I don’t think most men cry themselves to sleep every time they masturbate. So “potential life” loses. And I simply cannot accept the argument that a cluster of yet-to-be-determined cells is a life equal in value to mine. Aren’t pro-lifers supposed to value… life? While I certainly don’t wish them any ill, I wonder if they’ve ever dealt with a family member or close friend living with Parkinsons or Alzheimers, or had someone close suffer a paralyzing injury. Because when you see someone close to you — someone who is undeniably alive — struggling to live through disease, or living differently with paralysis, you really get to thinking about what it means to value “life.” And forsaking real lives in the name of ridiculous anti-choice politics isn’t it.
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