Today, President Bush vetoed House Resolution 810, to allow expanded research regarding the promise of embryonic stem cell research. Embroynic stem cell research (ESCR) provides hope for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinsons, Juvinile Diabetes, and those in need of organ transplants. Even the neocon’s beloved leader, Ronald Reagan, could have had benefit from ESCR. ESCR is of course controversial, because a minority of Americans believe that the destruction of potential life is murder. Stem Cells come from human embryos — a group of cells in it’s earliest stage. Again, a minority of Americans believe that this group of cells (which cannot breathe, see, feel, hear — has no nervous system) is life.

The facts are there — the embryos wanted for use are in freezers, stored across America. In fact, there are an estimated 400,000 in freezers around the country from IVF — just sitting there. When donors decide they don’t want to utilize the frozen embryo, it is thrown away. So, while President Bush and neocon religious organizations such as the National Right to Life (who believes in special personal rules and legislation for individual Americans…you may remember I “took them on” in February of 2005) be say that it is unethical to use stem cells to save the lives of others, I say, if we are desposing of these embryos– if they are going to be destroyed regardless, don’t we have a moral obligation to attempt to save the lives of others? For those of you who say that an embryo is living, isn’t it better to extend someone’s life, than to just take one completely “out of the cycle?” Look, I don’t have a problem with conservatives, nor people of faith.

As Ron Reagan Jr. put it at the 2004 Democratic National Convention,

It is a hallmark of human intelligence that we are able to make distinctions. Yes, these cells could theoretically have the potential, under very different circumstances, to develop into human beings — that potential is where their magic lies. But they are not, in and of themselves, human beings. They have no fingers and toes, no brain or spinal cord. They have no thoughts, no fears. They feel no pain. Surely we can distinguish between these undifferentiated cells multiplying in a tissue culture and a living, breathing person-a parent, a spouse, a child.

I know a child — well, she must be 13 now — I’d better call her a young woman. She has fingers and toes. She has a mind. She has memories. She has hopes. And she has juvenile diabetes.

Like so many kids with this disease, she has adjusted amazingly well. The insulin pump she wears — she’s decorated hers with rhinestones. She can insert her own catheter needle. She has learned to sleep through the blood drawings in the wee hours of the morning. She’s very brave. She is also quite bright and understands full well the progress of her disease and what that might ultimately mean: blindness, amputation, diabetic coma. Every day, she fights to have a future.

What excuse will we offer this young woman should we fail her now? What might we tell her children? Or the millions of others who suffer? That when given an opportunity to help, we turned away? That facing political opposition, we lost our nerve? That even though we knew better, we did nothing?

If you’re a reader, you know I am a member of the Jewish faith. Yoel Jakobovits, of Johns Hopkins Medical University School points out that a fetus, under Jewish law, is only considered “water” for the first forty days of gestation. A fetus is not considered more that potential life, Jakobovits points out, unless it is planted into the uterine wall. Jakobovits writes “there would be no Jewish legal opposition to disposing of them, conducting research with them, or deriving stem cell tissue from them.”

So, for those of you who say that stem cell research is taking someone’s life away, I say desposing of an embryo is merely taking someone else‘s life away. By your standards, you can look it at as too lives. For those of you who say it encourages abortion, yesterday the Senate banned (and President Bush) signed a ban on “fetal farms” into law — embryos cannot be created for the sole purpose of medical research. I won’t get into my view on that.

Today, President Bush didn’t refuse to sign a bill — he refused to sign a pardon. A pardon of millions of Americans, to live. Instead, children will carry around insulin pumps, Alzheimer’s patients will lose their memories, and will die a slow, painful death. As the moments pass when we lower their caskets into the ground, Halliburton will be pulling oil out of the ground. That’s all that matters, right?



  1. Rachel says:


  2. Madelyn says:

    Hopefully Mr. Bush will never have anyone in his family suffer from some kind of a disease or life threatening condition that could have benefited from this bill. It’s funny how the right to lifers change their minds about this issue when faced with a tragedy that might one day be overted by stem cell research.

  3. Matt says:

    I believe life begins at conception. Too bad for Mr. President that I also believe that my beliefs do not dictate state policy.

    When he, in his educated brilliance, scientifically explains to me why a group of rapidly dividing cells is as legitimate as grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, I’ll understand his veto.

    Where was this Christian man’s veto when it came to allowing torture, torching our environment and failing to increase foreign aid?

    Oh, how selective we can be.

  4. Kevin says:

    This is a big deal for me, since my best friend has diabetes. I am against abortion in most of it’s forms, but as long as they are being aborted, why can’t they be put to use? Appearently, Bush wants to spite all of the sick in America just because they are being cured in a way he disagrees with.

  5. Ben says:

    Kevin, you’re giving him too much credit. It’s all for Republican Political Capital.

  6. Madelyn says:

    It’s just a way for Mr. Bush to publicly thank all the members of the extreme Christian Right for all their support.

  7. Matt says:

    It isn’t like he has any more support left. Have you ever noticed how much he has been screwed by Republicans as of late?

  8. Matt says:

    Besides, now that he seems to like both Mexicans AND blacks (immigration reform and NAACP), he no longer feels like the enemy of the mainstream.

    He really needs embryonic votes in November to help beat those pesky Dems/independents/commies/John McCain.

  9. Rachel says:

    I can seriously relate, Kev. One of my best friends has diabetes and my uncle died from parkinson’s not too long ago.

    And on the abortion question, according to Judaism life begins 40 days after conception. I’ll accept that one.

  10. Matt says:

    I’m actually pro-life in general. I just think it’s ridiculous that embryoes, which very often dissintegrate long before reaching fetus status, are favored over the living.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: