Who says A must say B

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 22, 2006

With admirable clarity the Wall Street Journal goes to the heart of the debate on embryonic stem-cell research recently conducted in the US Senate:

Our own view is that the embryos from which stem cells are collected have the potential to be-- but are not yet-- human beings. This is the dominant view across U.S. society, which is one reason there is little controversy over fertility treatments, in which embryos are routinely created and discarded. Private stem-cell research on these discarded embryos remains legal, and, contrary to much political spin, private funding is plentiful.

Right. But now suppose your "view" is that the embryo is a human being. (It's certainly a being, and it is human, so...) Then presumably you should want to raise some controversy over "fertility treatments, in which embryos are routinely created and discarded."

Why would it be acceptable to discard embryos in the fertility clinics but not in the research labs? And if it's not acceptable in either case, why is the pro-life movement concentrating its rhetorical fire exclusively on the stem-cell research?

Proponents of stem-cell research keep asking why, if we're so concerned about the destruction of embryos, we have quietly allowed in vitro fertilization to become so broadly accepted. Good question.

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 26, 2006 12:17 AM ET USA

    Cornelius, among the “we” are acquiescing pro-lifers never schooled by USCCB to become INTROSPECTIVE re “none dare RISK murder”.If anyone thinks “ndrm” unimportant to understand, consider just a FEW recent events showing it deserves grasping & use within P-L Strategy: 1) in March, after much study, Vatican could not say “zygote=person” is NECESSARILY so 2) Bush had to back off spokesperson Tony Snow’s INACCURATE use of “murder” 3) USCCB failed to use ndrm though it knew HR810 was to be debated.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 25, 2006 2:59 PM ET USA

    Just substitute the work "Jew" for "embryo" and read that statement again. Scary, isn't it?

  • Posted by: Sterling - Jul. 25, 2006 1:21 PM ET USA

    Diogenes is abosolutely correct though. If we don't come out unequivocally and clearly against in vitro because IT DESTROYS HUMAN LIFE, our opponents are right to call us hypocrites. Every IVF procedure, by the way, kills several human beings, while every abortion usually kills only one. I think it's wrong to emphasize the child that results, any more than we should emphasize that fornication may result in a child loved by God.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 24, 2006 4:32 PM ET USA

    Whatever the motivation and whatever the end, if an act destroys the unitive goods of the marital act, then it is immoral. A lab tech in between the union of a husband and wife destroys the total gift of self that the act is meant to be. All these problems with IVF come from the same issue as birth control and that would be an imperfect understanding of the marital act in the first place. I think the education of John Q. Catholic needs to start this Sunday from the pulpit.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 24, 2006 5:17 AM ET USA

    Although the Church considers IVF immoral, the embryos frozen after IVF treatments deserve to live. It might be a good idea to develop artificial wombs so that embryos frozen after IVF treatments could be born & live long, holy lives. Although the Church would consider artificial wombs immoral, unfreezing embryos & putting them into artificial wombs would be better than keeping the embryos frozen indefinitely—& *much* better than destroying the embryos for any reason.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 22, 2006 10:15 PM ET USA

    Of course, babies conceived via IVF are totally loved by God, just as a child conceived in rape, out of wedlock, etc, is. For some reason, though, people who have gone through IVF, perhaps because of its deliberateness, and certainly because of the child that they might not otherwise have, don't often seem inclined to later repent of their decision to pursue that route. We really need to find a loving, gentle way to help them see IVF for what it is.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 22, 2006 8:42 PM ET USA

    Of course Vernum and Duns are correct. I was simply attempting to draw a distinction between absolute evil for evil's sake, (embryonic stem cell research) versus that which produces life, (in vitro fertalization) . . . A life, by the way that is still totally loved by God.

  • Posted by: Duns Scotus - Jul. 22, 2006 4:27 PM ET USA

    By the Natural Law, IVF is immoral, for many reasons, not the least of which is that it requires either destroying "left over" embryos or keeping them in a perpetual deep freeze. Still, using these embryos in experiments involves another, significant element of immorality. When these embryos are used for experiments, human beings are treated like things, commodities to be exploited by others. This is the moral line the crossing of which President Bush refuses to abet.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 22, 2006 3:59 PM ET USA

    So, then, the ends justifies the means? If there were ever successful treatments with ESC, would it then be OK? The number of unborn babies sacrificed by fertility clinics in order to provide infertile parents with children is truly staggering, but I think that people want what they want...and infertility affects more people than, say spinal cord injuries. And people don't know how to say to the neighbor who had IVF, "Repent of the procedure that gave you this child you love."

  • Posted by: - Jul. 22, 2006 2:44 PM ET USA

    Personally, I have a problem with ALL scientific interference with the natural process. But, for the sake of argument, permit me to draw distinctions between the In-vitro and stem cell procedures. In-vitro has had a myriad of successes in providing previously childless parents with healthy children. So far as I know, embryonic stem cell research has never had anything resembling success. None - zero - nada! Sorta reminds me of "The tower of Babel," where human potential challenges the Almighty.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 22, 2006 1:16 PM ET USA

    Who is "we"?