Stem Cell Confusion

Talk about a tough issue. I have posted, edited, taken down and reposted this comment (and also lost edits twice thanks to a glitch).

The House of Representatives has just passed a bill to allow federal research dollars to be spent on embryonic stem cell research. Remember, we’re talking about embryos created in a petri dish for possible use in artificial fertilization processes. These embryos were "left over," not needed for fertilization. Many clinics/patients simply discard these embryos. Others retain the embryos. It is these retained, refrigerated embryos that are the subject of current debate.

The President is opposed to this research, saying that destroying these embryos in the course of scientific research is the same as killing life. But, where is his pro-life, conservative Christian outrage at the disposal/destruction of such "excess" embryos in clinics around the country every day? It is absent, because he cannot oppose the fertility science that has allowed thousands of families to have children who othewise couldn’t. These families (suburban, middle-class) represent too valuable of a demographic for the GOP. His "principled" stand against the destruction of embryos goes only so far. The hypocrisy and political posturing makes me sick.


I marvel that people who have difficulty with pregnancy can have children thanks to fertility clinics. I have several loved ones who have benefited from this technology, and I celebrate their joy (and their children!) with them. But I can’t help but feel squeemish at the thought of embryos being created and then disposed of or stored for indefinate periods of time. Though I’m not a fan of Presidential hypocrisy, neither am I a fan of an approach that says, "who cares about the moral issues – these stem cells might save lives." I just can’t dismiss the moral argument. But if you have a (thoughtful) response, please post it here. And if you can offer any scientific insight (I admit to not knowing too much about the science), please do so! I’m all ears.

I hope as this legislation moves through the House and into the Senate that our churches will become places of deliberation on these issues. I have an open/confused mind on this issue, and look forward to reading diverse faith-inspired perspectives on this issue in blogs, periodicals, etc.. If you have any good sites or articles, please post them here.

With a prayer for our elected representatives . . .

Published by C. Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. National Guardsman. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.

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