Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life Links 2/10/09

In the Calgary Herald, Nigel Hannaford writes about another case of pro-choice intolerance in Canada. This time an event featured JoJo Ruba was shut down by officials at St. Marys University after pro-choice protesters wouldn't stop shouting.
You might get an intelligent rehearsal of both sides of an argument in a bar, but if it touches on feminism, Israel or the environment, the last place you'd look for it is on campus. As if to make the point, the Halifax Chronicle Herald records the reactions of Lesley-Anne Steeleworthy, chairwoman of the board at SMU's women's centre. The lecture topic, she declared, was "anti-choice" and offensive on "a number of levels."Not just Ruba's thoughts you notice, the topic itself. How dare he bring it up?

Another day, another incredibly misleading headline. This time in U.S. News and World Report - "Scientists Heartened at Prospect of End to Stem Cell Ban." The story is even worse. Imagine being reporter Amanda Gardner and putting these two sentences in the same story.
Researchers are rejoicing over President Barack Obama's anticipated lifting of the eight-year ban on embryonic stem cell research imposed by his predecessor, President George W. Bush.....

Stem cell research received a big boost in January, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever human trial using embryonic stem cells as a medical treatment.
Isn't it amazing how a government agency approved a clinical trial using embryonic stem cells before Barack Obama lifted the ban on embryonic stem cell research. Oh wait, embryonic stem cell research isn't banned at all.

Michael New notes that some changes have been made to the study on abortion reduction by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
At last, there was a methodologically sophisticated study which allegedly demonstrated that the welfare policies favored by Democrats were more effective in preventing abortion than the pro-life laws supported by Republicans. It seemed too good to be true.

It was. In November, with no public announcement, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good removed this study from their website. A replacement version was uploaded shortly thereafter. The replacement version differs from its predecessor in a number of interesting ways. First and foremost, one of the authors of the August study, Professor Michael Bailey of Georgetown University, removed his name from the November version. Joseph Wright, a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame, is the sole author of the current study.

More importantly, the results of the new version fall well short of the original press release....

The new version provides evidence that welfare policy has no more than a marginal effect on the incidence of abortion. In fact, the new regression results indicate that none of the three welfare policies which the authors previously argued were effective tools for reducing the incidence of abortion have a substantial abortion reducing effect.

Mary Kate Cary attempts to argue that killing "leftover" human embryos for their stem cells is a prolife position.
I'm often asked as a mother of a child with type 1 diabetes who would benefit from a cure found though stem cell research—but also as a pro-life conservative—what my position is on stem cell research.

I think there's a good case for pro-life conservatives to support embryonic stem cell research.....

As long as there are excess embryos as a result of IVF—ones that otherwise will be discarded—let's have something good come of them. Let's see if they hold the key to curing the suffering of others, rather than just throwing them away. Let's make a positive statement about the worth of each embryo, even the discarded ones.
This obviously isn't the thought process of someone who clearly recognizes human embryos as valuable living human beings. Would she make the same argument for individuals who are on death row or in hospice? They're just going to die anyway - let's have something good come of them.

Further evidence of Cary's less than prolife thought process is evident in her attempt to make an argument by comparison.
If you ask me, one of the most pro-life things you can do (other than adopting a child) is to donate blood and sign up to be an organ donor. So if you're opposed to embryonic stem cell research, think of it this way: If my friend gets killed in a car crash, one of the best outcomes from that tragedy would be if he or she had signed up to be an organ donor.

It doesn't mean I'm glad my friend died. It doesn't mean I'm in favor of car crashes.
Do you see how her comparision assumes the embryos are already dead? Her comparison might work if her friend was intentionally killed in a car accident and the individual who killed him wants permission to experiment on his organs.

HT: Mary Meets Dolly

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