Thursday, May 28, 2009

Life Links 5/28/09

The LA Times has an article entitled, “Abortion rights groups concerned about Sotomayor’s stance.”
"I simply don't know Judge Sotomayor's view on Roe vs. Wade. I will be very concerned if the question is not asked and answered during the Senate hearings," Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said Wednesday. "So far, no one has been able to give us an assurance of her views."....

The White House added to the concerns of abortion rights advocates, saying that the president did not discuss the issue with Sotomayor before her nomination.

"The president doesn't have a litmus test, and that question was not one that he posed to her," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said....

"Ironically, both sides in the abortion debate can agree on this," Northup said. "All Americans deserve to know where the next Supreme Court justice stands on Roe vs. Wade."

Here’s National Right to Life’s press release on Sotomayor’s nomination, which stresses concern and the need for questioning Sotomayor’s position on case like Gonzales v. Carhart.

The Denver Post has a piece by David Harsanyi, a self-described atheist who thinks he “practice(s) moral relativism regularly,” on his growing uneasiness with abortion.
But it's difficult to understand how those who harp about the importance of "science" in public policy can draw an arbitrary timeline in the pregnancy, defining when human life is worth saving and when it can be terminated.

The more I thought about it, the creepier the issue got.

Newsweek, for instance, recently reported that 90 percent of women whose fetuses test positive for Down syndrome choose an abortion. Another survey showed only a small percentage of mothers even used the test. So what happens when 90 percent of parents test their fetuses? Does it mean the end of the disease or are we stepping perilously close to eugenics?

What about future DNA tests that can detect any "defects" in a fetus? What happens when we can use abortion to weed out the blind, mentally ill, the ugly, or any other any "undesirable" human being? ....

If you oppose selective abortions, but not abortion overall, I wonder why? How is terminating the fetus because it's the wrong sex any worse than terminating the fetus for convenience's sake? The fate of the fetus does not change, only the reasoning for its extinction does.

Rebecca Taylor reviews what embryonic stem cell research advocates are writing to the NIH about its proposed guidelines.
There were mentions of expanding the funding to including embryos created for research including cloned embryos, but overwhelmingly the response focused on making sure that existing lines that are eligible for funding stay eligible.

What is the upshot? ESC advocates have bigger fish to fry than the funding of research using cells from cloned embryos or embryos created just for research. Their problem is not so much with the restriction of funding to ESC lines created from "leftover" embryos as I thought it would be. Their focus is on the retroactive nature of the new guidelines. For now.

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