|A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life||SUMMER 2005 No. 57|
On Human Embryos and Clones
The current debate over the proposed expansion of the Bush administration's policy that prohibits taxpayer funding of experiments involving the killing of human embryos after August 9, 2001, has obscured the fact that research on human embryos is being done in this country all the time. The only restriction on it is that federal tax dollars may not be used for killing human embryos after that date. Private money can be and is being used. State tax dollars are funding embryonic stem cell research at state-funded university research facilities and medical centers.
Eric Cohen, in his May 30, 2005 column in The Weekly Standard entitled "Go Forth and Replicate," sums it up:
"In America, there are currently no prohibitions and no limits on human cloning. There are no limits on the creation and destruction of human embryos. There are no limits on the implantation of human embryos into animal wombs to generate fetuses for spare parts. There are no limits on the creation of man-animal hybrids using animal sperm and human eggs or human sperm and animal eggs. There are no ethical limits on anything."
There are no ethical limits on anything.
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), joined by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), has introduced S. 658, legislation that would ban the cloning of human beings in this country. Its companion bill, H.R. 1357 known as the Weldon/Stupak bill, passed in the House in 2001 and 2003 but remains bottled up in the Senate.
While Germany, France, Norway, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland all have enacted bans on all forms of human cloning, the United States allows whatever assault on the dignity of human beings that anybody can think up! And, what are they thinking up? For example, Senators Orrin Hatch (RUT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have teamed up on a bill that would allow human embryos to be cloned as long as they are killed prior to implantation in a woman's womb. It would also ban allowing a human embryo to develop past 14 days. It is hard to believe that members of the United States Senate would even suggest that such a thing as creating human beings and killing them for research is acceptable. But it is true.
Banning the cloning of human beings must be done. But that won't solve the problem of human embryo experimentation. The hundreds of thousands of embryos currently frozen in liquid nitrogen in IVF clinics are at risk unless the Bush policy is replaced by a total, across-the-board ban on medical research that involves the killing of human embryos whether cloned or generated in an IVF petri dish. Funding should not be an issue. The practice should be illegal period.
If anyone who is reading this is not a former embryo, read no further. But if you understand that you came into being like the rest of the human race, starting out as a 46-chromosome single-cell human being, developing through the stages of embryo, fetus, newborn (neonate), infant, child, adolescent to adulthood, then you will realize that you, your children and your grandchildren have an enormous stake in how America responds to this challenge.
Pope Benedict XVI Helps Defeat Italian Embryo Research Referendum Pope Benedict XVI's contribution to the defeat of an Italian referendum targeting embryos for research and destruction has Europe's secularists in another anti-Catholic tizzy. Having grown accustomed to a feckless post-Vatican II Catholic Church, they were surprised and upset that Pope Benedict encouraged Italy's bishops to torpedo the referendum by telling their flocks to boycott it. What "unwarranted interference in Italian affairs," they pouted.
The Pope's efforts had some unexpected support from liberal secularist and self-described atheist Oriana Fallaci who wrote, "Behind this referendum is a project to reinvent man in the laboratory, to transform him into a product to sell like a steak or a bomb. Here we return to Nazism."
The referendum was resoundingly defeated, with only 25.9% of Italians going to the polls. A 50% turnout was required for validation.
("Benedict 1, Europe 0" by George Neumayr; The American Spectator, 6/15/05)
During the tragic and horror-filled weeks leading up to Terri Schiavo's death due to government sanctioned starvation and dehydration, public opinion polls indicated support for removal of her feeding tube. The media repeatedly said that Terri was in a "persistent vegetative state," which clearly, she was not. A person in a persistent vegetative state doesn't cry and show other emotion, or try to communicate with those around her, which Terri did until she was too weak to do anything but plead for help with her eyes.
The media's opinion polling questions, which generally gave a skewed if not blatantly false impression of Terri's condition, insured that respondents, under the impression that it would be in Terri's interest, would respond favorably to withdrawal of nutrition and hydration.
After her death, the Zogby organization did a poll (April 5, 2005) revealing that 80% of Americans do not support denying food and water to a disabled person who is not terminally ill and has no written directive. The same poll also finds that by over a 3 to 1 margin, Americans want elected officials to order a feeding tube to remain in place if there is conflicting testimony surrounding the case. Finally, the Zogby poll shows that by a slight margin, respondents want the federal government to intervene when disabled people are denied food and water by a state court judge's order.
When the American people have the facts, they usually come up with the right decision. In Terri's case, media reports were distorted and biased in favor of killing her. Terri was not terminally ill. She was not dying. She had parents and other family members who loved her and wanted to care for her. Had the facts been presented honestly and fairly and the pollsters asked questions based on truth, would her "husband," and his lawyer been successful in conniving with Judge George Greer who ordered that she would die? Would Terri still be alive? Think about it.
Supreme Court to Hear Parental Consent Law Challenge New Hampshire's parental consent law, requiring a minor girl's parents to be notified 48 hours before an abortion is performed, is being challenged and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case. Kathryn Jean Lopez, reporting in National Review Online (6/8/05), points out that "last year, a federal appeals court found that the law was unconstitutional based on a 1992 Supreme Court precedent that forbids any 'undue burden' on the exercise of (court-imposed) abortion rights."
Ms. Lopez says that, "In New Hampshire the state that now heads up the steps of the nation's highest Court to defend its right to require parental notice for minor abortion children under 18 must have a parent's permission to use tanning machines. Tanning machines. If they're under age 14 they must also have a doctor's note. [Emphasis added]
"In California, parental permission is also required for 14 to 17 year-olds to use tanning machines, and children under 14 are prohibited from using them, period. These same kids can have abortions without so much as a peep to a parent.
"In New York, where there is no abortion parental-consent or -notice law, kids can't get a nose ring or a tattoo without the folks' O.K. Music to many parents' ears, perhaps, but ludicrous when you realize a girl can get an abortion at the clinic across the street from the tattoo parlor without Mom or Dad knowing she is pregnant."
Of course, Ms. Lopez is right when she attributes the left's opposition to common-sense laws that protect the rights of parents to supervise the behavior of their minor children to their Ņopposition to anything that might in any way restrict legal abortion in America."
Opinion polls show that more than 70% of Americans support parental-consent or notification requirements. Those numbers reflect the public's recognition of the fact that parents are held responsible for the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of their children. When minors suffer the consequences of their actions, as in the case of abortion, who has to pay the counselor, and/or the psychiatrist, or the medical bills? Who has to care for the troubled, sick or maimed child? In some cases, even more than we know, who has to bury their daughter? The parents, that's who!
Parents have all the responsibility for their minor children, yet the courts have decided to deprive them of their corresponding authority over them.
How much longer will Congress allow the courts to run away with our government? How long before they exercise their Constitutional right to withdraw jurisdiction over these matters, and others, from the courts?
Michigan GOP Endorses Ultrasound-Before-Abortion Bill Tom McMillan, Chairman of the Issues Committee of the Michigan Republican State Committee, has forwarded to State Senators a resolution, passed unanimously by the GOP State Committee, endorsing and urging passage of, House Bill 4446.
The bill, which passed the House of Representatives on May 24, 2005 by a vote of 69 Yeas to 37 Nays, will require physicians to perform an ultrasound on a patient and provide her with an opportunity to view the ultrasound image before performing an abortion.
The GOP resolution makes the following excellent points:
The resolution urges the Governor of Michigan to sign this "very reasonable bill" into law upon final passage."
"The Worst Thing I Ever Did" The matriarch of the infamous Osbourne family, wife of Ozzie and co-star of the outrageous reality TV show "The Osbournes," Sharon Osbourne, was quoted in the London Daily Mail on 12/20/04 regarding the abortion in her past.
"I had an abortion at 17 and it was the worst thing I ever did. It was the first time I'd had sex, and that was rotten. I'd always thought it was going to be all violins, and it was just awful.
"I was two months gone when I realized. I went to my mum and she said, without pausing for breath: 'You have to get rid of it.'
"She told me where the clinic was, then, virtually pushed me off. She was so angry. She said I'd got myself in this mess, now she had to get me out. But she didn't come. I went alone. I was terrified. It was full of other young girls, and we were all terrified and looking at each other and nobody was saying a bloody word. I howled my through it, and it was horrible.
"I would never recommend it to anyone because it comes back to haunt you. When I tried to have children, I lost three I think it was because something had happened to my cervix during the abortion. After three miscarriages, they had to put a stitch in it.
"In life, whatever it is, you pay somewhere down the line. You have to be accountable."
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