President Bush and other Americans who oppose embryonic stem cell research say they believe that the destruction of a human embryo, even in the process of research to reduce human suffering, is immoral. It is immoral, they say, because human life begins at conception, therefore destruction of a human embryo equals the taking of life.
Curiously, opponents of embryonic stem cell research raise no serious objection to fertility clinics, the source of the embryos used in embryonic stem cell research. At fertility clinics, many human eggs are routinely removed from women and fertilized in the hope that one of the resulting embryos can be implanted in the uterus and produce a baby. Some of the unused embryos are frozen for possible use later, but most are discarded.
If scientists performing research on cells derived from the early cell division of human embryos are taking life, the fertility clinics are guilty of repeated massacres. However, no one has introduced legislation to ban the technique used by fertility clinics because the clinics’ services appeal to the many couples who have difficulty having children.
So exactly what alternate reality was this editorial written in. The Bearded Spock universe perhaps? Surely one that does not include the existence of the Catholic Church. One in which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not write in Donum Vitae 1987 by some little known Cardinal named Ratzinger:
It has already been recalled that, in the circumstances in which it is regularly practised, IVF and ET involves the destruction of human beings, which is something contrary to the doctrine on the illicitness of abortion previously mentioned.(49) But even in a situation in which every precaution were taken to avoid the death of human embryos, homologous IVF and ET dissociates from the conjugal act the actions which are directed to human fertilization. For this reason the very nature of homologous IVF and ET also must be taken into account, even abstracting from the link with procured abortion. Homologous IVF and ET is brought about outside the bodies of the couple through actions of third parties whose competence and technical activity determine the success of the procedure. Such fertilization entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.
Though in truth it is easy to understand the editorialist’s ignorance. This like many other Church teachings have not exactly been shouted from the pulpit or in fact even whispered. This is not something the Bishop’s conference has made the subject of a campaign as far as I know. Even in the pro-life community fertility clinics have not gotten the attention they deserve. This is partially understandable because opposition to IVF comes mostly from the Catholic Church, but their is a growing awareness of this within the Protestant community.
The editorialist must have also missed out on Focus on the Family Founder Dr. James Dobson calling for an immediate worldwide halt to all in vitro fertilization procedures back in 2005. Because of the ESCR debate many are more aware of just how problematic IVF is and that it almost always results in the death of human embryos. The freezing of "leftover" embryo’s has lead to the temptation for scientist to use them "because they are just going to be wasted anyway." Just how many times have we heard this excuse in justifying ESCR? This argument is just so disingenuous since if any cures ever came out of ESCR it would instantly create a demand that could not be met by the existing number embryos in cold storage. The effects of this argument is easily foreseen and is just another example how how the culture of death has not problems with distorting the truth.
Many pro-lifers have adopted an abortion clinic in that they might pray for the conversion of those who work there and that it is closed down. I spiritually adopted a local clinic that does IVF procedures a few years back and I recommend this practice to the pro-life community as a whole.