Stem Cell Stupidity

Imagine this for a moment, you and your spouse have spent years trying to have a child but have had no luck. With the frustration mounting and fertility options dwindling you decide to speak to your doctor about in-vitro fertilization, a process whereby your doctor removes several eggs from your ovaries, fertilizes them in a test tube, then reimplants some or all of the resulting embryo’s into your womb. During this process it is highly likely that most if not all of the embryo’s will not survive but it is also possible that they all will – producing triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, etc. In the end, the question remains as to what to do with any remaining embryo’s you choose not to implant?

According to the Los Angeles Times, “the vast majority of them – 87% – were frozen in case the parents might need them, but the vast majority of that vast majority will never be needed or used.” But even if all of those embryo’s were eventually used, which is not the case, many of those created in the fertilization process are destroyed because of defects, die during implanting, or are damaged in the freezing process. In short, the process inherently causes the destruction of many embryos. You would think then that the Bush administration, whose position it is that any embryo is a life worth saving, would adamantly oppose in-vitro fertilization, right? Wrong.

The President has stated many times that in-vitro fertilization is a “pro-family” policy. Why then is he so opposed to using the left over embryo’s, the ones that will ultimately be destroyed anyway, for stem cell research? It makes absolutely no sense. On Tuesday the house passed a bill that would effectively allow the use of these left-over embryo’s, with the donating family’s permission, to be used in stem cell research. While it was not passed overwhelmingly it did carry the support of several Republican’s determined to find a middle ground in this debate. What was the President’s response to this?

Bush reacted bluntly to the House’s 238 to 194 vote, which fell far short of the two-thirds needed to override a veto. Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, he said he has made it clear that he opposes “the use of federal moneys that end up destroying life.”

“The Congress has made its position clear, and I’ve made my position clear,” Bush said. “I will be vetoing the bill they send to me if it were to pass the United States Senate.”

Hmm. So it is ok to fund in-vitro fertilization, which caused the destruction of embryo’s, but it is not ok to fund stem cell research which will use those embryo’s to save lives? Man this fundamentalism thing is confusing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook