Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life Links 1/15/09

The BBC has an article and video regarding Obama’s likely move to change the current human embryonic stem cell funding policy. There are some howlers from Geron chief Thomas Okarma including in the video where he claims that a single embryonic stem cell line could treat every spinal cord patient in North America for 22 years.

Serge at the LTI blog has linked to a paper he wrote for the Christian Research Institute in 2007 focusing on some of the problems in bodily autonomy arguments in favor of legal abortion. The synopsis states in part,
The bodily autonomy argument and their defenses of it fail for at least four reasons. First, the argument fails to account for situations in which a mother harms but does not kill her child; given its logic, it would affirm a mother’s decision to intentionally take a medication that will cause birth defects in her child, for example. Second, the argument assumes that prenatal parental responsibilities are largely voluntary. Third, the analogies used to support the argument fail to take into account the difference between diseased and healthy physiological states. Fourth, the argument results in absurdities if taken to its logical conclusion. Taken as a whole, then, the bodily autonomy argument does not give us justification to jettison our deepest moral intuitions that mothers should not intentionally kill their offspring, whom proponents of this argument concede are rights-bearing individuals. Intentionally killing human fetuses in the act of elective abortion thus remains a great moral wrong.

Color me unimpressed with Third Way latest release entitled, “Come Let Us Reason Together: A Governing Agenda to End the Culture Wars.” I really doubt our government is going to end the culture wars on abortion by doing basically the same thing they’ve been doing to prevent unintended pregnancies, doing slightly more to help poor pregnant women and expanding the adoption tax credit. According to the press release, this short document is “the culmination of two years of work led by the progressive think tank Third Way, Evangelical religious leaders like the Reverend Joel C. Hunter and Dr. David Gushee, religion scholar Dr. Robert P. Jones and the religious group Faith in Public Life.” Is it me or does this seem more like 2 hours worth of work?

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network has posted Wesley Smith’s predictions for 2009.

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