Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Book on Defending the Faith [SK]

It's called Reasons for Faith, and yours truly contributed a chapter entitled, "Abortion, Research Cloning, and Beyond: New Challenges for Pro-Lifers in the Brave New World."

Here are two quotes from that chapter.

Regarding ESCR:

Until recently, ESCR advocates have flatly denied any intention of implanting cloned embryos in order to harvest tissues or organs from later term fetuses—a practice known as fetus farming. But researchers are growing impatient. Stem cells from early embryos have yet to deliver one promised cure and their tendency to form dangerous tumors could render them therapeutically useless. Indeed, throughout the scientific community, there’s a growing concern that usable cells will not be obtained unless cloned humans can be gestated well past the embryonic stage. Fearing a public backlash, big biotech is trying to legalize fetus farming on the sly with a series of phony cloning bans. In each case, what’s banned is the live birth of cloned human beings, not their creation for destructive research. And just when you thought the lies couldn’t get worse, cloning advocates are busy telling Americans that cloning is not cloning, that embryos are not really embryos, that morals are mere preferences, and that some humans are not really persons. If you think this is all science fiction, look no further than January 4, 2004....

Indeed, experiments are already underway in which cloned cow embryos are implanted, gestated to the early or late fetal stage, then killed so their organ tissues can be harvested. Among the many benefits, cells extracted from later-term fetuses are stable, allowing researchers to get around the tumor problem associated embryo cells. “We hope to use this technology in the future to treat patients with diverse diseases,” said Robert Lanza, who co-authored one of the cow studies. Legally, he’s got a green light: The New Jersey law—and others styled after it—permit this same cloned organ farming to be done in humans.
Re: Bodily rights arguments:

During our debate at U.C. Davis in June of 2006, Dr. Meredith Williams, who performs some abortions, repeatedly called abortion tragic and said that she, too, wanted to reduce the practice provided no laws were passed restricting it. But why abortion is tragic and why she wants to reduce it she couldn’t say. Seriously, if the unborn is just a "parasite" as she claimed more than once during our debate, isn’t removing that parasite a great event rather than a tragic one? The more abortions the better! She can’t have it both ways.

Throughout our exchange, Dr. Williams couldn't decide whether women had an absolute right to bodily autonomy or not. For the first part of our exchange, she more or less argued they did. However, during the cross x, she backed off that claim when I pressed her with this question provided by physician Rich Poupard:

"Let's say a woman has intractable nausea and vomiting, and insists on taking thalidomide to help her symptoms. After having explained the horrific risks of birth defects that have arisen due to this medication, she still insists on taking it based on the fact that the fetus has no right to her body anyway. After being refused thalidomide from her physician, she acquires some and takes it, resulting in her child developing no arms. Do you believe that she did anything wrong? Would you excuse her actions based on her right to bodily autonomy? The fetus after all is an uninvited guest, and has no right even to life let alone an environment free from pathogens."

When Dr. Williams said the woman was wrong to do that, I replied: "So if the mother wants to harm her unborn child with drug use that's wrong, but if she wants to kill it with elective abortion that's fine?" Many of those present immediately grasped the absurdity of her position.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated. We reject all comments containing obscenity. We reserve the right to reject any and all comments that are considered inappropriate or off-topic without explanation.