Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

What's the point of opposing stem cell research?

The Talent Show has a good post about stem cell research and Ron Reagan Jr.'s opinions on such. Reagan is angry, as he should be, because the anti-abortion crowd is being incredibly hypocritical about this whole thing, because they oppose stem cell research but not in vitro conception. (Hell, fertility drugs have created heroes in the every sperm is sacred crowd--look at that woman who had 7 babies but got a pass because she made a big deal out of refusing selective termination and because she mewled about loving Jesus.) Well, the can't be against fertility treatments, of course, since one of the every sperm is sacred crowd is that all women should love having babies, and lots of 'em.
So, why go after stem cell research? Well, as Greg points out, it's a nifty way to blur the distinction between human life and not human life, which is necessary if you're ever going to convince people that contraception, which has improved their lives immeasurably, is wrong. And in order to do that, you have to deceive people about biology. (Another reason to protest proper biology classes--educated people may not be properly disposed to use women's fertility to oppress them.) The attempts to define blastocysts as full human beings requires alot of ignorance of biology.
An aside: The media is being shameful uninformative on this issue, and most likely in the interest of "balance". Why isn't it common knowledge yet that most fertilized eggs don't implant and doctors don't consider a woman pregnant until there's implantation? If more people that believed that pregnancy begins at fertilization realized that therefore it's most likely they've "lost" many "pregnancies", they may be forced to reconsider. The facts aren't "balanced" and therefore they are censored.
But I think outside of all the misinformation about basic human biology, there is another reason anti-abortion forces oppose stem cell research, and it's just more disingenous propaganda. I'd like to see a poll taken on stem cell research asking people where they think that the embryos come from--my guess is that the majority of people, particularly in heavily fundie areas of the country, think that they come from abortions. Which, of course, they do not.
Contraception foes are well-known for comparing contraception and abortion with eugenics and genocide. (Irritating, to be sure, since we squishy liberals are far from trying to shove contraception on anyone to kill them off.) Most people aren't buying it. But if they can somehow convince people that wicked scientists are killing babies to experiment on them, well, that's bound to make people uncomfortable. It's going to turn more people against abortion, and as a side bonus, it will make them suspicious of scientists who are actually trying to help people.
So, what to do? Bring up in vitro fertilization everytime you hear someone argue against stem cell research. The first point, last point, and major point that should be made and repeatedly is, "So, it's better to throw away the leftovers from IVF than use it to save people?" coupled with, "Shouldn't we make laws that get to the source and ban in vitro fertilization?" Remind them that stem cell research has nothing to do with abortion, and remind them until they get it.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opposing something that could potentially save your life is the most foolish thing an individual can do, but the stupidist is to oppose it in hyporcrisy.

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