Stem Cell Research, Ron Reagan Jr. and John Kerry

C. Ward Kischer
Reproduced with Permission

On Wednesday, July 28th, Ron Reagan Jr. addressed the Democrat convention in which he endorsed and promoted federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. This would involve the production and use of any early human embryo for this research whether or not it comes from stored "spare" embryos in IVF laboratories, elective early abortions, or from in vitro culture procedures. Reagan Jr. supported his endorsement by describing the early human embryo as having "no fingers, no toes, no arms and no legs". His words arbitrarily reduce the status [read value] of this human life to a state of less than human -- some even question that the embryo is actual life. Remember the thalidomide babies? Many had no fingers, no toes, no arms or no legs. Was Reagan Jr. saying that those babies should have been used for research? His answer, undoubtedly, would be : "of course not". But, such practices have been done before, in the 1930s by the Nazis when they declared many human lives as Untermenschen, subhumans. What is it that Reagan Jr. really was implying? That these early human embryos had no feeling, no awareness [sentience]? But, that describes a number of newborns and others. There are a significant number of humans born with defects [anomalies] which compromise there physiology and/or anatomy. But, we care for them under the aegis that it is the most noble thing to do. Reagan Jr. was saying what a number of others have said who are critical of President Bush's restrictions. They deflect the truth by making outrageous statements.

Defunct in the knowledge of true science their position reveals the origin of their claims: it is arrogance. Even some scientists jump on the bandwagon. David Baltimore, President of Cal Tech, has declared "the tiny mass of cells . . . is hardly a human being". Mary Hendrix, Chairman of Anatomy at The University of Iowa School of Medicine, testified before Senator Harkin's Committee that the early human embryo "is so small it can fit on the tip of a sewing needle". She used false Human Embryology in an effort to support her dehumanizing statements.

On Saturday, August 7th, John Kerry said if he is elected President : "We're going to lift the ban on stem cell research". The "ban" is a refusal by President Bush to fund with public money research on stem cells derived from new killing of human lives. Kerry also said : "We're going to say yes to science. We're going to listen to the scientists". Fine! Listen to this scientist, Senator: the human embryo, from which so-called stem cells are to be derived, is a whole integrated human life, as is the one cell human embryo and which is no different in scientific status from the 100 year old senior. That is because at any point in time along the continuum of life, from one cell to death, whenever that may be, ALL of the characteristics of life change, albeit at different rates at different times, including size, form, function, content, appearance, etc. This, Senator, is a purely scientific declaration and has absolutely nothing to do with religion. No amount of parsing, perverting the language or its manipulation will ever change this truth. It is likely that one of the reasons Senator Kerry does not know science is because the mainstream media will not print the truth about Human Embryology. If you want to know about the human embryo ask a human embryologist, not political pundits, lawyers or clerics. Listen and learn Senator Kerry. Protecting any form of human life should not be arbitrary on a scale of false priorities, such as moral relevance. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

C. Ward Kischer, Ph.D. is an emeritus professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, specialty in Human Embryology, University of Arizona, College of Medicine. He is also Chairman of The American Bioethics Advisory Commission and adult stem cell researcher.
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