by Laura Echevarria
June 24, 2007
LifeNews.com Note: Laura Echevarria is the former Director of Media Relations and a spokesperson for the National Right to Life Committee and has been a radio announcer, freelance writer active in local politics. She is a new opinion columnist for LifeNews.com.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments about embryo-destroying stem cell research went far beyond the typical political rhetoric surrounding the issue.
After the House passed legislation mandating federal funding of research involving the destruction of human embryos, Speaker Pelosi stated, “Science is a gift of God to all of us, and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure . . .And that is embryonic stem cell research.”
Following her comments, I had expected news reports to mention lightning striking the Capitol dome or some other weather phenomenon equally judgmental in its scope. Truly, I couldn’t believe that Speaker Pelosi had the audacity to say something so, well, blatantly unbiblical.
Is it unreasonable to suggest that if embryonic-stem cells have these supposedly miraculous qualities that are supposedly God-given that maybe the embryo they come from is equally miraculous and equally God-given? And if the embryo is God-given, do we have the right or even the gumption to destroy—to kill—this tiny human being for the long-shot possibility of benefiting ourselves?
I remember reading a few years ago about Nazi experiments conducted prior to and during World War II. Nazi doctors, who often performed experiments on concentration camp victims, were responsible for some of the largest bodies of research on blood loss and hypothermia.
Victims were subjected to brutal, inhuman, and excruciatingly painful experiments so Nazi doctors could know how long a pilot would live if he crashed into frozen waters or how long a soldier would live if his leg was destroyed in heavy Allied bombings.
You can imagine what was involved in these experiments in order to find out what would happen in these and other similar scenarios. Nazi doctors repeated them over and over again, recording how long it would take the victim to die before moving on to the next experiment—and the next victim.
Since then, great debate has taken place on whether the results of these heinous experiments should even be used. The question is not whether the results are beneficial to medical knowledge but whether it is ethical to use them.
We’ve been told that human embryo stem cell research would use only so-called spare embryos left after in-vitro fertilization. But there is no such thing as a “spare” human being. There are no extras when it comes to human life and no chances at “do-overs.” Embryonic stem cell research requires embryos to be strip-mined and destroys them in the process. Do we continue to pursue unethical research that has questionable benefits or do we draw a line saying “here and no farther”?
Science is indeed a gift but what we are capable of isn’t always right or good. For now, President Bush has drawn a line with his veto of the legislation. But will we one day be confronted with a successful veto override or a president who doesn’t believe in the fundamental right to life?
Federal funding of embryo-destroying stem cell research is only step one. The night before the vote on the legislation that mandated using our tax dollars for this research, Democrats tried to ram through legislation they presented as a cloning ban. Of course it was no such thing—the legislation banned reproductive cloning but would have allowed cloning for research purposes.
Cloning, human-animal hybrids (chimeras) and fetal experimentation are likely down the road. Through abortion, we established that human life was negotiable and our definition of it capricious. And after opening the Pandora’s Box on human experimentation, we will discover that, just like the mythical Pandora, we will no longer have the option of stopping what we’ve started.