Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Sperm Cell Research

Too bad today's national leaders missed out on sex education in school. I am of the generation of Frist and Bush, and I doubt that high schoolers in Tennessee and Texas got better guidance than those of us in Colorado. The highlight from my high school Health class was Tony Sante, a senior taking a sophomore class, drawing a 69 on the blackboard to help us understand a mystifying new term. I will testify that we did not progress further into how to distinguish between an embryo and a fetus or a fetus and a newborn. As for blastocysts, get real!

If the public schools had done their jobs back in the '60s, we would not be subject to statements from our president, such as: "This bill would take us across a critical ethical line by creating new incentives for the ongoing destruction of emerging human life. Crossing this line would be a great mistake."

Although the Bible wasn't necessarily big on nixing the "ongoing destruction of emerging life," adherents have made a lot of the sin of Onan, and if that's a sin, it's a short trip to condemning anything as anti-life.

At least Bush was more discriminating than in his previous statement about how it was wrong to take a life in order to save a life. Given the innocents killed in Iraq, that one had limited applicability. And Bush was more measured than Tom DeLay, who opined: "An embro is a person" and embryonic stem cell research is "a scientific exploration into the benefits of killing human beings."

DeLay also decried "dismemberment of living, distinct human beings," making it sound like the embryos were having their arms and legs yanked off by scientists — or liberals. This image is not quite as good as Rep. Chris Smith's "frozen orphanage," as if the embryos were like the frozen Han Solo, awaiting freedom and a return to life, instead of facing the natural odds of making it to term.

Thus we have the spectacle of the president addressing people who have "adopted" embryos that were not needed by the couples who contributed the sperm and eggs for their in vitro fertilization. They are parading the kids born from these cells as if they were snatched from death. In fact, fertilized eggs frequently fail to turn into human beings, for a variety of natural reasons. Yet Smith and other supporters of a ban on stem cell research are resolute in personalizing the fertilized eggs. No one is calling the kids "leftovers," as Smith implies, and no one is calling for a halt to letting other other couples accept the embryos in order get pregnant — a practice that could continue if the donors wanted.

I am not cavalier about drawing lines between life and death. I just happen to think functional but frozen cells and human beings are distinctly different. The real slippery slope is in the opposite direction, in which government starts sanctifying clusters of a few dozen cells the size of this . with personhood.

The next intervention step could be reclaiming unborn sperm cells before some godless humanist bites their little heads off. Will these people be demanding to adopt my sheets?

Don't laugh. There may be people praying for you to get pregnant right now.

1 Comments:

Blogger bob said...

adopt your sheets...

That's funny.

12:23 PM  

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