Stemming specious statements before another one bites the dust

By Judie Brown

Remember the 1980s hit "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen? That song is about getting even by killing people. Not a nice theme for a song! But no one thinks twice about it and current trends are more disturbing because we accept the enchanting lyrics of deadly "science."

Is it a stretch to compare the Queen hit with popular Congressional bills supporting embryonic stem-cell research? I think not.

This debate is all about posturing, defining and deceit. Politicians, including many who claim a "pro-life" moniker, are telling constituents that support for human embryonic stem-cell research is compassionate because it could save future generations from chronic illnesses like diabetes, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

Furthermore, they argue, those extra embryos will be tossed out anyway, so why not put them to good use?

Wrong. Even if such research could save others from suffering chronic disease, we may never take the life of one person for the benefit of another. The human embryo, from his earliest moment of existence, when his proper name is zygote, has his own DNA and his entire genetic code is contained therein. All he needs is time to grow. That single-cell human organism is a unique and unrepeatable human being from fertilization into eternity.

What if someone proposed that people in nursing homes are nearly dead, so why not put their body parts to good use? Does that sound ghoulish and cruel? I would hope so! Why, then, doesn't it sound equally disgusting to suggest that human embryos should bite the dust?

My, how deceptive rhetoric scrambles the thought process – no wonder many question why anybody would make such a stink over a few "cells." Persistent denial that the human embryo is a human being creates the perfect setting for confusion. And these tactics of deceit certainly do occur subtly. The public hardly notices. Look at the following statements, for example.

Anna Quindlen, in a moment of candor, wrote that accepting human embryonic stem-cell research might actually soften public opposition to abortion. She opined that "a certain long-overdue relativism to discussions of abortion across the board" is a worthy goal.

Her argument is if the public can be convinced that taking the lives of human embryos for research is a good practice, then that same public is not going to be so hard-nosed in their opposition to abortion. Indeed, if you can readily accept the intentional killing of somebody who is tinier than the head of a pin, you're on your way to seeing some good in later abortions too. It's all so relative!

Another one bites the dust!

Reporters love to quote Hollywood types. When someone quotes Michael J. Fox, people listen – after all, he's so endearing and believable. And Mr. Fox says, "I see in these cells the potential for medical miracles. If this research succeeds, there won't be a person in this country who won't benefit, or know somebody who will."

Yes, the press can use his remarks to gin up support for a potential Parkinson's treatment or cure, even if the research indicates no such possibility from embryonic stem cells.

On the contrary, it is the ongoing success with adult and cord blood stem cells that are silently wowing the scientific community and no one is sacrificed in the process. I say silently because the mainstream media ignores good news stories about true science. Those victories don't fit their agenda.

Another one bites the dust.

Public commentator Michael Kinsley, who was diagnosed recently with Parkinson's, grinds his axe a bit differently. He writes, "The week-old embryos used for stem-cell research are microscopic clumps of cells, unthinking and unknowing, with fewer physical human qualities than a mosquito… not a single embryo dies because of stem-cell research, which simply uses a tiny fraction of the embryos that live and die as a routine part of procedures at fertility clinics."

How clever. Very few people would have trouble swatting a mosquito, but we're not talking about mosquitoes.

Messrs. Fox and Kinsey, I am very sorry that you suffer from Parkinson's disease. Such suffering is so very sad. However, your sufferings cannot justify your dangerous fiction. In fact, your fiction can destroy lives. Parkinson's doesn't give you license to lead your believing fans astray, so please use your power of persuasion to save people.

The week-old embryo is a human being, not a clump. Every human embryo whose stem cells go to research dies as a result. We must not treat any individual human being as a product at any stage in his life. Otherwise, we shall begin to treat entire populations as commodities to be dealt with according to size, shape and age.

Another one bites the dust.

Yes, so much of the stem-cell research discussion has little to do with facts. For the most part, it's about convincing the public that murder is, in some cases, nothing more than recycling garbage for life-saving science.

How many will bite the dust?

President Bush erred in 2001 when he allowed government research on existing embryonic stem-cell lines, but he has since vowed to veto any legislation that would kill more embryonic people. For that we can be grateful.

Still many in Congress are pushing for unfettered government funding to slaughter untold millions and millions. To call this disregard for human persons specious is, in all honesty, too kind.

We have to say no to human embryonic stem-cell research; we must say no; and we must say it now!

Release issued: 30 Jun 05