Guest Author - Joyce Orzak
This week, President Barack Obama overturned Bush-era legislation banning embryonic stem cell research. Now our tax dollars can be used for scientific research on already created embryos and those left over and slated to be destroyed at fertility clinics. The new laws do not yet allow for embryos to be created for the sole purpose of stem cell research.
Embryonic stem cell research proponents claim that stem cells from embryos potentially hold the keys to curing cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, among a multitude of other conditions. President Obama said “I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering,” when referencing the recent legislative changes. As a staunchly pro-choice President, this brings no surprise, as the common pro-choice attitude is to put fully developed adults ahead of unborn children.
The ethical question on my mind is if the couples that originally commissioned their embryos are aware of the research being carried out on their genetic offspring? They produced the embryos for the purpose of procreation, not furthering cancer or diabetes research. Where are their signed consent forms? My children are not government property, why should theirs’ be? This legislation resonates with unethical practices.
The fact that scientists are turning back to embryonic stem cells for answers is grotesque and illogical, at best. With Bush’s policies in place, researchers were forced to turn their attention to other stem cells that showed great promise in scientific trials. For example, menstrual lining is rich with stem cells and comes from a renewable source with a minimum of invasive procedures or bioethical debate.
Now that President Obama’s pet project of the week is embryonic stem cells, public funding for menstrual and other stem cell research will, in all likelihood, be funneled into research on embryos – at no outstanding benefit to the outcome of the research. It is simply another stepping stone in the agenda to stripping the sanctity of life at conception and making abortion on demand a permanent, widely accepted practice.