by Steven Ertelt
August 28, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is getting heat from a pro-life organization because it backs embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of human life. The crux of the debate between the groups revolves around a letter LLS signed in favor of a bill to require taxpayer funding of the research.
After learning that the Planned Parenthood watchdog group Life Decisions International had added LLS to a group of charities pro-life advocates should boycott, a pro-life advocate wrote the organization.
LLS spokesman Doug Lubbers wrote to the pro-life person, saying, "This is a complex and emotional subject, and I think it therefore requires that we carefully analyze the facts."
"I believe that your information derives from the fact that L&LS, along with the Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network and 520 other patient advocacy groups were co-signers to a letter to the House and the Senate, dated January 10, 2007, supporting the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act," Lubbers wrote.
"Although the Congress passed that legislation, it was vetoed by the President in June," Lubbers told the pro-life advocate. "Therefore, this law has not been implemented."
But LDI spokesman Doug Scott told LifeNews.com that Lubbers was passing the buck and attempting to downplay LLS’s support for the embryonic funding bill.
"This is an attempt to justify the signing of the letter," Scott said, calling it "an attempt to evade the facts."
"The hospital and other groups are responsible for their having signed just as L&LS is responsible for adding its name to the letter," Scott added.
"The fact is that L&LS wanted the legislation to pass. L&LS opposed the veto," Scott told LifeNews.com. "L&LS is attempting to excuse its actions by saying, ‘Well, we failed to get what we wanted, so let’s pretend we had no role in trying to make it happen.’"
Scott also singled out a comment Lubbers made in his letter as an attempt to avoid admitting LLS’s position on embryonic stem cell research.
Lubbers wrote that the Society does not "support the destruction of innocent life" but rather "opposes the fertilization of human eggs for the purpose of research."
"All this proves is that L&LS opposes the fertilization of human eggs for the express purpose of conducting experiments on them," Scott said. "But if the embryos were created without that specific purpose in mind, it is okay to do whatever you want to them."
Scott urges pro-life advocates to contact the charitable group and urge it to reverse its position backing embryonic stem cell research.
Contact: Mr. Dwayne Howell, President & CEO, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 1311 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY 10605; Phone: 800-955-4572 or (914) 949-6691.