Embryonic Stem Cell Hype

Throughout the state of California today, (and maybe in other states as well) August 24, newspapers are carrying front page/front section articles on supposedly new ways to use embryonic stem cells without destroying the human being.

These articles are false and misleading and need responses in letters to the editor in your local paper.

1. In the first place even this process requires the creation of a new human life. Or, bringing a frozen ivf embryo to life and then experimenting on it.

2. IVF babies are still being viewed as of utilitarian benefit to others which is in opposition to the belief held for centuries that each human being has value unto itself and must not be used solely to benefit a third party.

3. The IVF process itself is not without problems. The LA Times article states that 25% of babies conceived by this method are healthy babies, but in fact:

A-IVF Babies are up to 40% More Likely to Suffer Severe Birth Defects

B- January 31, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Reports are growing that in vitro fertilization, in which a human being is made in a laboratory by mixing ova and sperm in a petri dish, is resulting in a high rate of severe birth defects. In September 2003, LifeSiteNews.com reported that IVF was coming under scrutiny because of the risks involved to the child. A dozen scientific papers published in 2003 suggested health risks associated with IVF.

Now a new study can be added to the stack. Researchers at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth, Australia, have found that babies born through IVF are up to 40% more likely to suffer from birth defects. From relatively minor problems like cleft palate to severe ones such as spina bifida, more IVF children are showing that IVF is a solution that often creates more trouble than it solves.

4. Just like any other organ transplant, compatibility is an issue. Unlike using your own adult stem cells to be cultured for a treatment, these cells are foreign and subject to rejection.

All these articles focus on a group called Advance Cell Technology which claims to be pioneering the process of unfreezing embryos, letting the cells divide, extracting one cell and using it for research while either discarding the embryo or implanting it into a womb.

The articles state variously that the group is headquartered in Massachusetts and others say it is now in Alameda, California. They claim that they have moved to California in hopes of taking advantage of the opportunity to cash in on the generous state funding for embryonic stem cell research. So, it just shows the opportunistic attitude of this group. They�ll go wherever the money seems to be and say whatever they have to to get the public�s approval.

Let us pray that the President does not succumb to this latest ploy to place human life at the disposal of the technocrats. How ironic that the very people who want to stop the war ion Iraq because it causes death and destruction can demand the death and destruction of the human baby. In effect, call for saving the life of barabas while demanding the death of Jesus.

Camille Giglio
Ca. Right to Life Comm.

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