By Rev. Louis P. SheldonChairman, Traditional Values Coalition
January 9, 2007 - Liberal Republicans and Democrats in Congress are rushing to overturn President Bush’s ban on expanded use of human embryos in stem cell research this week. Under consideration this week is H.R. 3, a bill that is designed to institutionalize the killing of unborn humans for their stem cells.
Why are liberals so determined to expand on the killing of the unborn? They already vigorously defend the so-called “right” of an abortionist to “terminate” the life of unborn children—even those in the ninth month of life. What drives these individuals to now view human embryos as spare body parts for others?
But, more to the point: Why do liberals consistently refuse to consider the promising results of adult stem cells, which are already being used to cure diseases?
For years, physicians have used adult stem cells, stem cells from umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, placentas -- as well as gene therapy -- to help individuals with diseases. Significant progress is being made in the field of regenerative medicine – which uses the body’s own cells to regenerate damaged tissue.
The Washington Post, (January 8, 2007) reported on the promise of using cells in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women for the healing of diseases. These cells can grow into brain, muscle and other tissues!
These cells are apparently even easier to retrieve and to store than are embryonic stem cells – and don’t carry the ethical baggage with them. These cells can potentially be frozen and kept in a personalized tissue bank for future use. This is the latest breakthrough in the use of non-embryos for stem cells – and should be vigorously pursued.
Adult stem cells, on the other hand, have already been used to treat diseases successfully. The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported that 50% of those with Lupus who were treated with adult stem cells were disease-free 5 years after treatment; The Journal of Rheumatology found that 73% of those with rheumatoid arthritis could be controlled on medication after being treated with adult stem cells; and the journal Nature has reported that vision-impaired mice injected with adult stem cells showed improvement.
There is more: In 2004, the National Right To Life Committee reported that adult stem cells are used in more than 30 anti-cancer therapies! In addition, adult stem cells injected into damaged hearts have become healthy muscle tissue. Harvard Medical School researchers have successfully reversed juvenile onset diabetes in mice by using “precursor cells” taken from the spleens of healthy mice. In addition, severed spinal cords have been regenerated in mice by the use of gene therapy!
These are only a few of the many examples that can be given of the successful use of adult stem cells to cure diseases. On the contrary, there is not one case I’m aware of showing that the use of stem cells from unborn humans has been successfully used to cure any disease.
Why is Congress so eager to normalize the killing of unborn humans for their body parts? What sort of grisly mindset compels these legislators to believe it’s ethical to kill one human to benefit another? Is it because the embryo can’t donate, scream, protest, or picket? How can a civilized society accept the high-tech cannibalism involved in the deliberate killing of a human embryo to harvest its parts?
Perhaps our Congressmen should research the horrific practice in Communist China of killing political prisoners for their body parts. The same logic applies to the killing of unborn embryos for their parts. After all, why waste those eyes, livers, spleens, etc., of dead prisoners when they could benefit a high-ranking member of the Red Chinese Army? This is what has regularly occurred in China over the past decades. (After denying this practice for more than a decade, China’s leaders admitted what they were doing in 2006. They have now supposedly banned this practice. Lying to Capitalist news outlets is standard practice in this ruthless dictatorship so their assurance is suspect.)
So, will Chinese Communist ethics rule in Congress this week as legislators debate H.R. 3, or will our lawmakers reject this war against human embryos and focus on adult stem cell research and the promise that regenerative medicine holds?
We’ll know soon.