Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Progress versus Principle



Connie Pratt, President
Colorado Springs Right to Life

Stem cell research began twenty years ago on tiny embryonic human beings. When scientists began turning their labs into biological chop shops, 'dismantling' living little humans for their 'valuable parts,' President Reagan condemned the deadly practice and issued a moratorium against it.

When a Clinton-appointed 'bioethics' committee later recommended the moratorium be lifted, Congress protected America's taxpayers, in 1996, by prohibiting the federal funding of "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to injury or risk."

The Health and Human Services then issued a legal 'opinion' favoring such destructive human embryo research. It was written by the former legal director of the National Abortion Rights Action Council, hardly an unbiased attorney.

In 1999, the National Institutes of Health published guidelines allowing researchers to do indirectly what the law prohibited their doing directly…and commenced the period for public comment…its proposal was opposed by at least a two-to-one margin. (True to form, NIH then tried to stack the deck by extending the deadline for comment.)

When the 'Patient Coalition for Urgent Research' (whose board is a Who's Who of for-profit drug and biotechnology industries) polled the public about stem-cell research, without explaining how the cells are obtained, 69% approved. However, a later poll by a non-aligned organization which asked about research "in which live human embryos would be destroyed or discarded," 74% were opposed.

Apparently, neither the overwhelming conscientious objection to such cannibalistic research…nor the federal law explicitly prohibiting it…mean much to Bill Clinton and Al Gore, who, having staunchly defended any and all attacks on pre-natal humans, have no qualms about the slicing up of brand-new humans not yet in the womb.

Once again manipulating words and splitting hairs to advance their agenda, the Clinton-Gore team recently announced that research with human embryonic stem cells can be funded with our tax dollars…provided the prerequisite that the killing of the little humans who 'own' those cells is paid for with private funds.

Their announcement is even more appalling in light of amazing Reports (American Medical News, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, MSNBC, Science, Nature Genetics, The Scientist, etc.) that stem cells from placentas, umbilical-cord blood, adult cadavers, and even the patients themselves are at least as effective as embryonic stem cells and much easier to control.

Such findings prove we need not choose between progress and principle.

We can — and we must — serve life without causing death.

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